Sunday, March 20, 2011

'Feeling the Heat: Climate Change and Child Survival'

Save the Children: Tackling the issues children face as a result of climate change must be made a priority. Save the Children's report, Feeling the Heat, illustrates the effects climate change will have on children.

Today, nearly nine million children die before their fifth birthdays due to a small number of preventable diseases, such as diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia. Climate change is set to worsen the conditions which contribute to the prevalence of these diseases, placing children at greater risk. The effects of climate change will reduce poor communities’ access to clean water, reduce their ability to grow nutritious food, increase food price fluctuations and allow malaria mosquitoes to spread.

Because the effects of climate change on children are so significant, Save the Children is urging national governments and the international community to work together to forge a way forward. It is imperative that world leaders put children first when they meet at the Copenhagen summit in December. What needs to be done:
  • Greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced. Rich countries must provide money to help poor communities to adapt to the climate change that is already happening. This must be delivered promptly and in addition to existing commitments to international development aid, not instead of it.
  • Child-centred disaster risk reduction (DRR) should be recognised as a corner stone of adaptation.
  • Children who move independently as a result of climate change need to be protected by national and international policies and legislation. Services must be introduced with a specific provision for migrant children.
  • Governments must sign up to a binding agreement in Copenhagen, December 2009, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, to keep global temperatures as far below 2ÂșC as possible.

No comments: