Children face life with more heatwaves, floods, droughts and wildfires than their grandparents

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Inger Ashing. Chief Executive Officer, Save the Children International

  • The climate crisis is a child-rights crisis.
  • The adverse weather events caused by a warming planet affect children first and worst.
  • Children born in 2020 will be harder hit by the climate crisis in their lifetime than their grandparents.

The climate crisis is fundamentally and irreparably reshaping our world. It is a child-rights crisis, affecting children first and worst with deepening inequalities across borders and generations.

Children across the world have inherited a problem that is not of their making. In a new report from Save the Children – Born into The Climate Crisis: Why we must act now to secure children’s rightswe highlight the impact that the climate crisis is having on children’s rights now, and for future generations.

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about climate change?

Climate change poses an urgent threat demanding decisive action. Communities around the world are already experiencing increased climate impacts, from droughts to floods to rising seas. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report continues to rank these environmental threats at the top of the list.

To limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C and as close as possible to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, it is essential that businesses, policy-makers, and civil society advance comprehensive near- and long-term climate actions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.Global warming can be beaten thanks to this simple plan

The World Economic Forum’s Climate Initiative supports the scaling and acceleration of global climate action through public and private-sector collaboration. The Initiative works across several workstreams to develop and implement inclusive and ambitious solutions.

This includes the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, a global network of business leaders from various industries developing cost-effective solutions to transitioning to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. CEOs use their position and influence with policy-makers and corporate partners to accelerate the transition and realize the economic benefits of delivering a safer climate.

Contact us to get involved.Mission Possible Platform: Delivering industry pathways t…

How the climate crisis impacts children

According to new research in the report, which was developed with an international team of leading climate researchers led by the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB), children born in 2020 will be far harder and more often hit by the climate crisis in their lifetime than their grandparents.

With reference to the Paris Agreement’s emission reduction pledges, the new data shows that a child born in 2020 will experience on average twice as many wildfires; 2.8 times the exposure to crop failures; 2.6 times as many drought events; 2.8 times as many river floods; and 6.8 times more heatwaves across their lifetime compared to a person born in 1960.

Children in low- and middle-income countries – who have done the least to contribute to climate change – will continue to bear the heaviest burden of these dangerous climate crisis impacts. For the most vulnerable children – including those exposed to multiple hazards, those living through conflict, those most profoundly impacted by COVID-19, and those experiencing inequality and discrimination – the impacts of climate change will be made worse, placing their access to rights and basic services at additional risk.

There’s still time to turn things around, but we must act now.

Potential reduction of additional lifetime exposure to extreme events of children born in 2020 by limiting warming to 1.5°C instead of higher temperatures under Paris Agreement pledges. Image: Save the Children

Keeping global temperatures low

According to the same data, if global warming is limited to 1.5°c above pre-industrial levels, the risk of additional lifetime exposure for children born in 2020 will drop by 45% for heatwaves; 39% for drought by; 38% for river floods; 28% for crop failures; and 10% for wildfires.

Lowering the risk of exposure to extreme weather events will have a critical impact on children’s access to basic services. More children will be able to remain in school, increases in malnutrition rates will be avoided, and ultimately, the lives and futures of many of the world’s most vulnerable children will be saved.

High-income countries that are the most responsible for climate change have a critical leadership role to play. Investing $1.8 trillion globally in five key areas of adaptation over a period of ten years could generate $7.1 trillion in total net benefits.

Factor children into planning

Investing in children is also economically sound because they will grow up with the knowledge of how to address the root causes of the climate crisis and adapt to its impacts. Children are telling us repeatedly how the climate crisis is impacting them, how urgent is it for us to act, and how they want to be involved in finding solutions.

“Climate change is a huge crisis… the education of children in the affected areas gets disrupted.”—Dilmani, a 15-year-old girl from Sri Lanka

Despite the direct and disproportionate threat that children face to their rights now and in the future, and the leadership they are providing in the climate movement, children are routinely excluded and overlooked in climate discussions, policies, and summits at all levels.

Moving forward, we all need to ensure that children are heard, including at global summits, such as the upcoming Conference of the Parties (COP26) climate conference in Glasgow, UK.

The window of opportunity to make a difference for children is quickly closing. Commitments to climate action and financing remain dangerously inadequate, and unless global leaders scale up their ambition now, current, and future generations of children will suffer.

“We must change drastically and start taking the climate crisis seriously, we must act now to have a chance of reaching our goals and save the future. We children are maybe not climate-scientists, but we know something important. We must act now!”—Emanuel, a 14-year-old boy from Norway

It is critical that governments speed up commitments to the next five-year cycle of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming. They must also provide child-sensitive climate financing, plus social protection and support for children and their communities so that they can better adapt to and recover from climate shocks.

Alongside governments, the private sector has a crucial role to play in leading the just transition to sustainable carbon-neutral economies that safeguard our planet and the future of children. This includes divesting from fossil fuels and creating greener jobs.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Lebanon: UN rights office calls for de-escalation of protest violence

Here’s how companies can make sure they are blockchain-ready

Why the financial scandals multiply?

JADE Generations Club: Connecting perspectives, changing Europe.

At global health forum, UN officials call for strong, people-focused health systems

To entrepreneurship and beyond!

My ‘’cultural’’ contacts with China

‘We are nowhere closer’ to Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, than a year ago, Security Council hears

‘Rare but devastating’ tsunamis underscore need for better preparation, UN chief urges on World Day

‘Regional security and integration’ in Central Africa under threat, Security Council warned

‘Spectre of poverty’ hangs over tribes and indigenous groups: UN labour agency

Recovery and Resilience Facility: Romania submits official recovery and resilience plan

Artificial intelligence: Commission takes forward its work on ethics guidelines

Industrial policy: recommendations to support Europe’s leadership in six strategic business areas

The ocean is teeming with microplastic – a million times more than we thought, suggests new research

Can Obama attract Iran close to the US sphere of influence?

Bring killers of journalists to justice: UN agency seeks media partners for new campaign

Regulate social media platforms to defend democracy, MEPs say

Canada has the most comprehensive and elaborate migration system, but some challenges remain

G20 LIVE: World Leaders in Turkey for G20 Summit. Global Economy will be discussed in Antalya

These countries are the most optimistic about economic recovery from the pandemic

Last-chance Commission: Why Juncker promised investments of €300 billion?

COP25: Developing nation’s strike hard

Ireland’s planning to make its Emerald Isle even greener

Peer-to-peer learning: a way to develop medical students’ trainings

ISIL continues to pose a ‘serious challenge’ worldwide – UN counter-terror chief

Biodiversity: MEPs demand binding targets to protect wildlife and people

Leaders need hard data to make the hard decisions about sustainability

Nicaragua ‘crisis’ still cause for concern amid murder, torture allegations: Bachelet

Trump: Hostile to Europe, voids Tillerson’s “ironclad” ally pledge

Businesses, governments and consumers to implement a more climate-friendly approach to #BeatPlasticPollution on World Environment Day 2018

Right2Water initiative: Is the Commission ready to listen to citizens?

Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate deal is bad for US business. Here’s why.

3 natural mysteries that could be explained by quantum physics

The winds of change: 5 charts on the future of offshore power

Millions of Bangladeshi children at risk from climate crisis, warns UNICEF

COVID-19 and the importance of scientific credibility in decreasing the number of cases

Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct of Amazon

Plastic is a global problem. It’s also a global opportunity

NASA is recruiting new astronauts – this is what it takes to apply

Why it’s time to celebrate migrants

Fighting forest fires in Europe – how it works

The Pegasus Project awarded the 2021 Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for Journalism

Detecting online child sexual abuse requires strong safeguards

Sexual reproductive health rights SRHR and ending HIV: can one be achieved without the other?

Greenhouse gas emissions have already peaked in 30 major cities

Transparency, EU values, and pluralism: new rules for European political parties

Central Asia bloc has important role in ‘peace, stability and prosperity’ beyond region, says Deputy UN chief

Greater transparency, fairer prices for medicines ‘a global human rights issue’, says UN health agency

It’s time to end our ‘separate but unequal’ approach to mental health

How smart tech helps cities fight terrorism and crime

EU and Mercosur reach agreement on trade

UN committed to helping Haiti build better future, says Guterres, marking 10-year anniversary of devastating earthquake

Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to O2 CZ, CETIN and T-Mobile CZ for their network sharing agreement

5 things to know about the exploding world of pro gaming

World Food Programme accesses Yemeni frontline district for first time since conflict began

UN chief calls for ‘immediate end’ to escalation of fighting in southwestern Syria, as thousands are displaced

The world’s food waste problem is bigger than we thought – here’s what we can do about it

A Sting Exclusive: “Seize the opportunity offered by Africa’s continental free trade area”, written by the Director General of UNIDO

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: