Climate Change Greatly Affecting the World’s Children

London (April 29, 2008)- A UNICEF UK report found that the world’s poorest and most vulnerable children are being hit the hardest by the impact of climate change. The report, “Our Climate, Our Children, Our Responsibility: The Implications of Climate Change for the World’s Children,” says access to clean water and food supplies will become more difficult, particularly in Africa and Asia. Further, children in poorer countries face a future in which disasters, violence and disease will be more frequent and intense, clean water and food supplies will diminish, and incomes and productivity will fall.

The report claims the effects of climate change are already having an adverse impact on children’s lives and are hampering many of the targets agreed to at the UN Millennium Development Summit in 2000. The report was written by Emma Back, a global health policy expert, and Catherine Cameron, an author of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. David Bull, UNICEF UK executive director, said, “If the world does not act now to mitigate and adapt to the risks and realities of climate change, we will seriously hamper efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and sustain development progress thereafter.”
The report calls for immediate action from the UK government to make children a priority in the climate change agenda and calls on UK companies to substantially reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contribute to the costs of mitigating and adapting to climate change. It says that while richer societies can adjust, poorer ones do not have the resources. Bull said, “It is clear that a failure to address climate change is a failure to protect children. Those who have contributed least to climate change-the world’s poorest children-are suffering the most.”
Related Resources:
Report: Our climate, our children, our responsibility
UNICEF- Climate Change Greatly Affecting the World’s Children