Over the tipping point
How multiple, overlapping climate and environmental shocks and hazards on children in the East Asia and Pacific region are eroding their coping strategies, exacerbating inequality, and forever changing their futures
The East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region is one of the most impacted to multiple types of overlapping climate and environmental shocks and stresses, 41% of children in the region face 5 or more shocks, compared to global average of 14%. Climate shocks are increasing in frequency, and interacting with non-climate shocks like the COVID pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis, among others, creating multiplier effects and cascading impacts in the region, leading to a ‘polycrisis’ – a situation with multiple near-simultaneous shocks with strong interdependencies. Other human-driven trends amplify these effects, leading to more shocks, thus creating knock-on effects on several interconnected systems and sectors.
This report unveils the intensifying frequency and compounding effects of climate-related hazards intertwined with non-climate shocks like the COVID-19 pandemic and socio-economic challenges.
Given that children are already facing the impacts of climate change, adaptation and resilience measures are needed now to reduce the full force of impacts. This report recommends three areas to do so:
Children have continued access to the key services they need: This requires investing in climate-smart and disaster-resilient education, health, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services for children, so that children can access these services despite the shocks they face;
Child protection and social protection systems are in place and are climate-responsive; and
There is understanding of what to expect and how to adjust as necessary, establishing and utilizing strong early warning, risk management and disaster preparedness systems.
In all of this, children and young people must be at the forefront of our actions. Urgency demands that they take action themselves, leading the way with innovative solutions for both mitigation and adaptation. We must support their efforts, providing them with the necessary skills and resources to amplify their work. Above all, we owe them every opportunity for success as we work together to secure a better world for generations to come.