Climate crisis is child’s right crisis: UNICEF
1st Sep, 2021
Recently, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with Fridays for Future launched a report named ‘The Climate Crisis Is a Child Rights Crisis: Introducing the Children’s Climate Risk Index’.
About the Index
- The report introduces the new Children’s Climate Risk Index (CCRI).
- It is a composite index that ranks nations based on children’s exposure to climate shocks, providing
- The first comprehensive look at how exactly children are affected by the climate crisis
- Offering a road map for policymakers seeking to prioritize action based on those who are most at risk
Key-highlights of the Findings
- Approximately 1 billion children — nearly half the world’s child population — live in countries that are at an “extremely high risk” from climate impacts.
- Almost every single child on the planet has been exposed to at least one climate or environmental stressor, such as air pollution, flooding, heat waves, tropical storms, flooding or drought.
- 850 million children — approximately one-third of the world’s child population — are exposed to four or more stressors.
- The 33 extremely high-risk countries for children: including the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau.
- These countries collectively are responsible for a mere nine percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.
Findings for India
- India is one of four South Asian nations where children are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, which jeopardise their health, education, and protection.
- Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and India are among four South Asian countries where children are at extremely high risk of the impacts of the climate crisis, with a ranking of 14th, 15th, 25th and 26th respectively.
Mapping exposure of children to different type of pollution
- 1 billion children are “highly exposed” to “exceedingly high levels of air pollution
- 920 million to water scarcity
- 820 million to heat waves
- 815 million to lead pollution
- 600 million to vector-borne diseases
- 400 million to tropical storms
- 330 million to riverine flooding
- 240 million to coastal flooding
- Increase investment in climate adaptation and resilience in key services for children.
- Countries must cut their emissions by at least 45% (compared to 2010 levels) by 2030 to keep warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.
- Provide children with climate education and greens skills, critical for their adaptation to and preparation for the effects of climate change.
- Ensure the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is green, low-carbon and inclusive, so that the capacity of future generations to address and respond to the climate crisis is not compromised.