The climate crisis is the defining human and child’s rights challenge of this generation, and is already having a devastating impact on the well-being of children globally, according to a new report from Unicef. Understanding where and how children are uniquely vulnerable to this crisis is crucial in responding to it. The Children’s Climate Risk Index provides the first comprehensive view of children’s exposure and vulnerability to the impacts of climate change to help prioritize action for those most at risk and ultimately ensure today’s children inherit a liveable planet.
We are up against, and crossing, key planetary boundaries.
We are crossing key boundaries in the Earth’s natural system, including climate change, biodiversity loss, and increasing levels of pollution in the air, soil, water and oceans.Climate and environmental hazards, shocks and stressesare already having devastating impacts on the well-being of children globally. As these boundaries are breached, so too is the delicate natural balance that human civilization has depended upon to grow and thrive. The world’s children can no longer count on these conditions, and must make their way in a world that will become far more dangerous and uncertain in the years to come.
And as a result, the climate crisis is creating a child’s rights crisis. It is creating a water crisis, a health crisis, an education crisis, a protection crisis and a participation crisis. It is threatening children’s very survival. In all these ways, it is infringing on children’s rights – as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Unfortunately, this is only the beginning. According to the IPCC, global greenhouse gas emissions need to be halved by 2030 and cut to zero by 2050 to avoid the worse impacts, but most countries are not on track to meet these targets. Only with such truly transformative action will we bequeath children a liveable planet.
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