COP28: UNICEF calls for universal action to tackle a child rights crisis
Climate change is changing children.
The climate crisis is not just changing the planet, it is changing children. It is affecting children everywhere – their lives, their communities and their health.
Children's bodies and minds are uniquely vulnerable to pollution, deadly diseases and extreme weather, and they are disproportionately affected by the impacts of disasters, environmental degradation and the climate crisis. Yet their needs and perspectives are almost totally absent in climate policies, action and investment at all levels.
UNICEF at COP28
The COP28 Climate Conference is a critical point in the fight against the climate crisis, and the fight for children’s rights and wellbeing.
World leaders and the international community must ensure child rights are prominent within the key outcomes of COP28, so that the needs of children are respected, promoted and considered in all aspects of climate action in line with the Paris Agreement.
At COP28, UNICEF is calling on leaders to:
- Elevate children within the final COP28 Cover Decision and convening an expert dialogue on children and climate change.
- Embed children and intergeneration equity in the Global Stocktake (GST).
- Include children and climate resilient essential services within the final decision on the Global Goal for Adaptation (GGA).
- Make the Loss and Damage Fund and funding arrangements child-responsive with child rights embedded in the fund's governance and decision-making process.
UNICEF will continue to call for meaningful child and youth participation in climate policy making and at COP28, with the inclusion of children and youth in all delegations and negotiation teams.
UNICEF is working with more than 100 child and youth climate activists at COP28, including from countries worst affected by the climate crisis.
Learn about UNICEF's key messages and events from COP28.
UNICEF x Youth x Climate
Young people have the right to be heard on climate change. UNICEF builds communities for youth activists and connects young people to global opportunities in over 190 countries.
How much do young people know about climate change?
UNICEF and Gallup surveyed youth aged 15+ years in 55 countries. We asked about climate change, identity and trust in institutions. The results are here.
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Water and climate change
Every region of the world, including high-income countries, faces challenges related to water scarcity or lack of access to clean water. With climate change, the problem is projected to get much worse over the coming decades.
UNICEF calls for urgent climate action
We are bearing witness to the ways in which children's health and communities are already being altered in a climate-changed world. Children need to be at the centre of the global response.
UNICEF calls on Parties to:
Protect the lives, health and well-being of children and the resilience of their communities by adapting essential social services to a changing climate, more frequent disasters and degrading environment.
Empower every child through their life course with the developmental opportunities, education and skills to be a champion for the environment.
Reduce emissions and fulfil ambitious international sustainability and climate change agreements.