Climate Change Threatens Survival of One Billion Children – UNICEF

children are more vulnerable to climate change
  • Nearly one billion children around the globe are exposed to extreme risks of climate change.
  • One billion children make up half of the total children population in the world.
  • Children that live in most affected countries by climate change are vulnerable to threats of climate change.
  • Environmental shocks have more severe impacts on Children as compared to any other age group.

INTRODUCTION

A recent report by UNICEF has given attention to an alarming situation. The report has stated that nearly one billion children around the globe are exposed to extreme risks of climate change. Extreme weather events such as cyclones, heatwaves, droughts, floods, environmental pollution, etc are all driven by climate change. Read: Why Ecocide Should Be Made an International Crime?

CLIMATE CHANGE AND CHILDREN

One billion children make up half of the total children population in the world. And children that live in the most affected countries by climate change are vulnerable to threats of climate change. The report has highlighted that 33 countries are extremely vulnerable to threats of climate change. The topmost vulnerable countries are the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau.

Read: Top 15 Countries Already Bearing the Brunt of Climate Change

Why UNICEF has reported Children as the most vulnerable group likely affected by climate change?

Children cannot protect themselves from extreme weather events like adults do. The growing body of children needs more essential items such as food and water as compared to adults. The index prepared by UNICEF is based on the climate crisis and the availability of essential services to children living in vulnerable countries.

CHILDREN’S CLIMATE RISK INDEX BY UNICEF

According to UNICEF REPORT, millions of children are extremely vulnerable to environmental issues. The below table is presenting the number of children that are exposed to environmental issues.

Serial No. Environmental Issues aka Climate Crisis NUMBER OF CHILDREN EXPOSED
1. Air pollution One Billion
2. Water Scarcity 920 Million
3. Heatwaves 820 Million
4. Lead Pollution 815 Million
5. Vector-borne Diseases 600 Million
6. Cyclones 400 Million
7. Riverine Flooding 330 Million
8. Coastal Flooding 240 Million

 

ARE CHILDREN HAVING ANY CONTRIBUTIONS TO CLIMATE CHANGE?

Without any exception, children can never contribute to climate change. Rather they become victims to these human-induced climate changes. The age group of children makes them most vulnerable to the ongoing climate crises. Children are paying the highest cost for things they have no contribution towards.

Check out Environmental Impacts Of Disposable Covid-19 Face Masks

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE?

Human activities such as fossil fuel combustion, the industrial revolution, etc are responsible for climate change. According to the report, ten countries are major emitters in the world responsible for 70 % of all greenhouse gases emissions. Out of 10 major polluting countries, only one is standing in the row of extremely vulnerable countries. The extremely vulnerable 33 countries only contribute to 9% of all greenhouse gases emissions. You may like to read Top Polluters and Climate Change Deniers a Danger for Neighbouring Countries

WHAT COULD BE DONE?

What could be done to protect children from the negative impacts of climate change? Easy access to essential items such as drinking water, food, sanitation facilities, and education can make them able to survive the climate crisis.

UNICEF CALLS FOR ACTION

UNICEF is asking for immediate actions in order to protect the children and their surrounding environment. Corporate businesses, governments, and relevant authorities should take the following actions.

  • More investment should be done in climate change adaptation policies.
  • Ban fossil fuel combustion to reduce greenhouse gases.
  • Make children aware of climate change through basic education facilities.
  • Climate change-based conferences must include youth around the world.
  • We all need to learn from COVID -19 pandemic that the world can work even without burning fossil fuels.

CONCLUSION

Our future generation is in danger of unsustainability due to the ongoing climate change crisis. Unless we treat this global issue as a climate emergency, more and more children would suffer the predicted consequences of climate change. The global community should act together and implement immediate sustainable policies to cut off fossil fuel combustion. Together we can save this planet and our future generation.

Also, check out Fossil Fuels are Killing Us – According to Latest Harvard Study

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