Climate Change and Children
UNICEF calls for a child centered response to the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation.
Put children at the centre of climate change response
Climate change and environmental degradation undermine children’s rights, especially for the most disadvantaged. Children are the least responsible for climate change yet will bear the most significant burden of its impact. The climate crisis disproportionately impacts children, and every child on earth is exposed to at least one climate and environmental hazard, such as heatwaves, cyclones, air pollution, flooding and water scarcity. Globally, nearly half of the world’s one billion children live in high-risk countries.
Zimbabwe is ranked very high (in the top three in Southern Africa) in the 2021 Global Climate Risk Index, and the latest evidence indicates that the country will continue to warm through 2080. The warming is projected to be most significant in the western and southern sections of the country, including Masvingo, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South Provinces.
The current and projected warming trend and reduction in rainfall, coupled with the increasing frequency and intensity of floods, tropical cyclones, droughts, and heatwaves, threaten children’s lives and destroy schools, water supply and infrastructure, health care facilities and children’s play spaces. Further, the reduction and increased unpredictability of rainfall risk crops critical to livelihoods and nutrition. All these impacts can result in greater poverty, and growing children’s protection risks.
Children are the most vulnerable in every crisis, including climate change-related crises. Climate change threatens children’s survival, development, nutrition, education, and access to health care – all of which are children’s rights and enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
The 27 Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) (COP27) to be held in Sharm El Sheikh, the Republic of Egypt from 6 to 18 November 2022 is an essential political and technical platform to increase global ambition in addressing climate change.
In Zimbabwe, UNICEF works with Government and partners to ensure children are essential to climate change strategies and disaster response plans. UNICEF supported the development of the child-sensitive National Climate Change Response Strategy and the Child-Friendly Climate Change Policy with children's active engagement.
Climate adaptation and mitigation efforts, which also underpin resilience, must be holistic and include protection, water, sanitation and hygiene, and nutrition in complement to climate-smart agriculture, income, and renewable energy. Renewable energy can be deployed for health, education and water, sanitation, and hygiene to improve the quality of services as well as contribute to the climate mitigation and adaptation agenda.
UNICEF Zimbabwe calls for child-sensitive national climate policies and climate resilient sector policies that benefit children and are funded; meaningful participation by children in shaping the future that will be theirs; and climate-sensitive and climate resilient essential services, including child protection, social protection, education, health, nutrition and water, sanitation, and hygiene.
Children voices on Climate Change
Simphiwe Nkomo (10)
Climate is Changing
Yes, it is changing not for the better but the worst.
Who is causing all this?
It’s you and me who are not co-operating to fight this change.
Global warming is coming
Imagine if all the frost ice melts.
What a disaster will occur,
The whole earth will be covered with water.
The whole world is experiencing the effects of Climate Change.
Heat waves all because of Climate Change.
Let’s join hands together to fight this monster.
Play your part in tree planting.
Be part of waste management.
Say No to deforestation and veld fires.
Avoid gas emissions
Knowledge is Power
The power of knowledge about Climate Change will provide us with enough amination to fight the monster, Global Warming
Together We Will Win the War!
Munashe Gotora (9)
Climate Change is a child rights story
The earth is important for us
We have to keep safe
What is Climate Change?
Climate Change is the long-term shift of temperature and typical weather patterns in a place
Who is causing all this?
It is me and you.
How do we cause Climate Change?
How does Climate Change affect us?
Natural Disasters like drought and floods.
How can we help prevent Climate Change?
Using alternative sources of energy and hydroelectricity instead of firewood.
Let’s us join hands together!