Advancing innovative policy solutions for a healthier planet for children
Sustainable development and a sustainable world are not possible without consideration of the environment. Yet while a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment is necessary for the full enjoyment of a wide range of human rights – health, food, water, sanitation – climate change and environmental degradation are destroying the environment, affecting human health and well-being.
What policy shifts and innovative approaches are needed to address the current and future effects of worsening climate and environmental issues on children?
No group is more vulnerable to this environmental damage than children. Climate change and the loss of biodiversity threaten to cause long-term effects that will impact children’s lives for years to come. What policy shifts and innovative approaches are needed to address the current and future effects of worsening climate and environmental issues on children?
In collaboration with internal and external partners, we explore new and innovative ways to address the impact of the environment on children.
Climate mobility and children
The climate crisis has sparked another crisis: one of mobility. Around the world, in 2019 alone, some 23.9 million people were forced from their homes by weather-related disasters.
Not all those displaced were children, but climate-related events have already contributed to over 50 million children being forced from their homes, migrating across borders or being displaced within their own countries. Yet children have been almost entirely overlooked in the emerging debate, research and policies on climate-related migration and displacement. We bring together a range of partners to help us analyze these issues, propose actions and define a future agenda to ensure that children’s rights and needs are part of the wider debate on climate change.
Green school-to-work transition pathways
In the words of UN Secretary-General António Guterres: “The green economy is the future. It fosters prosperity, creates decent work, addresses root causes of conflict and contributes to the full enjoyment of all human rights – not only civil and political, but also economic, social and cultural.”
In order to help children and young people prepare for green and sustainable futures, as well as decent and productive work, we will analyze green school-to-work transitions and pathways and suggest improvements in policies and programming.
Young people have historically led the charge against environmental, social and racial injustice. However, in the last several years, they have mobilized like never before on the issue of climate justice. Millions of children and young people around the world have made their voices heard and demanded that their governments take action on climate change. Their voices have demonstrated the urgency they are feeling, since the younger generation will suffer the consequences of climate change more greatly than their parents and grandparents.
What does climate justice involve and what does it mean for children and young people? How does inequality affect the quest for climate justice? What are children’s and young people’s demands? How can climate justice be achieved? These are some of the questions we’ll be exploring.
Child-sensitive climate policies
Children will continue to suffer the impacts of climate change the most keenly. However, despite the many ways climate change impacts them, children are consistently overlooked in the design and content of climate policies and related processes.
In order to address this lapse, we assessed the current landscape of national climate change policies and plans by reviewing 160 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and 13 National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), analyzing the degree to which they are child-sensitive. We also provided recommendations on how to strengthen the focus on children’s rights, including actionable and measurable results for children.