Action on the climate crisis
Achieving a safe, sustainable and water-secure world for children.
The climate crisis is a child rights crisis that poses an unprecedented threat to the future potential of all children.
Water scarcity threatens every aspect of a child’s life including their survival and future. The climate crisis is limiting children’s access to safe water and is contributing to increasing water scarcity.
Almost every child on earth is exposed to at least one climate and environmental shock and stress.
These crises will not affect everyone equally. Children will suffer more than adults, with those in the poorest communities bearing the biggest burden.
Every child now, and in the future, has the right to be protected from, and prepared for, the negative impacts of climate change, especially the impacts on water security.
What needs to happen
Time is running out. Addressing the climate crisis and water scarcity will take more than individual efforts. If governments, businesses and global leaders take ambitious, comprehensive and urgent action now, we can limit the impact of the climate crisis and water scarcity and ensure a safe and healthy future for the world’s children.
UNICEF is calling on all governments, businesses and leaders to:
REDUCE greenhouse gas emissions.
The world is on a catastrophic path of global heating. Instead of an overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, current estimates predict that these emissions will increase. Governments must take bold, urgent action to urgently reduce greenhouse gases to achieve ‘net zero’ emissions by 2050.
INCREASE investment in climate adaptation.
To protect children and communities from the worst impacts of climate change, critical services like water, sanitation, hygiene, healthcare and education must be adapted to withstand extreme weather events and climate variability. Children must also receive climate education and green skills to prepare for the effects of climate change.
INCLUDE young people in climate negotiations.
Children and young people will face the full, devastating consequences of climate change, yet they are the least responsible for its impacts. They have a right to have their voices heard. Governments must formally include young people in all national, regional and international climate negotiations and decisions.
For youth: Get inspired, share and act
To address the climate crisis, everyone needs to understand why it is happening and what can be done to defend against its impacts. Use these resources to introduce yourself to climate change and invite your friends, family and school to join in.
Join the community
Express your views and support for the issues that matter to you on Voices of Youth - UNICEF's digital community for youth, by youth.
For policymakers, researchers and partners
Did you know that approximately 1 billion children are extremely likely to be impacted by climate change?
Recurring floods, droughts and heat waves are among the many climate-related factors that are making access to safe water increasingly scarce.
Over one-third of children globally are currently highly exposed to water scarcity.
Addressing climate change requires international policy action. Addressing water security requires regional and national policy action. By linking climate and water, we can create new pathways to address climate change at a regional and national level.
Climate action around the world
UNICEF works tirelessly to protect children from the effects of climate change. We work at all levels including with governments to highlight and address the impact of climate change on children.