According to a UNICEF report, young people living in the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau are among 163 nations of the world most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, which threatens their health, education and protection, and exposes them to deadly diseases.
It is estimated that around 1 billion children worldwide are “extremely vulnerable” to climatic events such as cyclones, heat waves or floods, and poor quality of basic services such as water, sanitation and access to health care.
As per the UNICEF data, the 33 highest-risk countries emit a total of 9% of global emissions, while only one-tenth of the highest-emission countries accounting for nearly 70% of global emissions are reported in the report classified as “extremely high risk”.
Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director said “For the first time, we have a complete picture of where and how children are vulnerable to climate change, and that picture is almost unimaginably dire. Climate and environmental shocks are undermining the complete spectrum of children’s rights, from access to clean air, food and safe water; to education, housing, freedom from exploitation, and even their right to survive. Virtually no child’s life will be unaffected”.
UNICEF urges the world to take urgent action to address the climate crisis and prioritize action to protect children from its worst effects. Governments and businesses around the world need to invest in climate change adaptation measures for children in making climate-related decisions. In addition, UNICEF urged countries to cut emissions in half by 2030 and invest in recovery from the Covid19 pandemic.