Other online resources
CLIMATE SYSTEM EMERGENCY INSTITUTE
The Health and Human Rights Approach to Greenhouse Gas Pollution
Greenhouse emissions today are deadly pollution for tomorrow,
but the main source fossil fuels emits deadly air pollution today.
Children are most vulnerable to the toxic particulates and chemicals
emitted from fossil fuel combustion.
So the issue is actually fossil fuel pollution.
F. Perera 2017 Pollution from Fossil-Fuel Combustion is the Leading
Environmental Threat to Global Pediatric Health and Equity.
Continuing today’s patterns of carbon-intensive energy use is estimated,
together with climate change, to cause 6 million deaths per year by 2030,
close to 700,000 of which would be due to climate change. This implies
that a combined climate-carbon crisis is estimated to claim 100 million lives
between now and the end of the next decade.
UNICEF 2017 Levels & Trends in Child Mortality. The world has made substantial progress in
reducing child mortality in the past several decades. Even so every year, millions of
children under 5 years of age die, mostly from pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria. In almost
half of the cases, malnutrition plays a role, with unsafe water a signifcant factor. All of these
are predicted to increase with global climate change. Also huge disparities in under-fve
mortality exist across regions and countries.
Today already committed (locked in) global climate change is a dire and terrible emergency for the future of today's children the world over.
UN Climate Secretriat report 02 AUG, 2016
Climate Change Mainly Impacting Vulnerable Children
Childen of all regions are more vulnerable to all impacts of climate change on
human populations a vulnerable sub-population).
'Older and younger people are also especially sensitive to climate change impacts.
Children's developing immune, respiratory, and neurological systems make them
more sensitive to some climate change impacts, including more frequent or severe
extreme events, increased heat, and worsened air quality.' (EPA). Babies and small
children have poorer temperature regulation. Young children aremore likely to die
from or be severely compromised by diarrheal diseases (increase with global change)
Children are dependent on other people.Children constitute
roughly half of all persons affected by disasters.
In 2007, Save the Children estimated that over the next decade,
up to 175 million children worldwide will be affected by climate change-related disaster.
Also, because atmospheric greenhouse gas levels and global climate change is now accelerating, with all impacts happening now and much faster than anticiated, and national governments are doing next to nothing about it, the generation of today's children will grow up in an extremely dangerous climate. Among the impacts is increasing conflict and decreasing food securitry.
Also, because of already committed climate change, children will grow up in an increasingly poor and hostile planet with declining biodiversity.
A focus on children is generally not included in global climate change impact reports and plans.
The 2014 IPCC climate change impacts assessment for policy makers does not mention children or young people despite the fact that it covers vulnerability.
Though a search finds several climate change children reports UNICEF's site does not show the issue.
The American Academy of Paediatricians does address the issue and has a 2015 policy statement
James Hansen is the exception. J. Hansen 2013 Assessing “Dangerous Climate Change”: Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature
This deplorable situation makes it essential that young people be involved in political assessment and decision making. 2011 example from Australia, L. Strazdins and H. Skeat, Weathering the future: Climate change, children and young people, and decision making
Though some of the reports below were published years ago, they are even more relevant today and show how long we have known the situation form the world's children.
2015 EPA America’s Children and the Environment, Third Edition
Our Children's Trust is suing the US government on The Public Trust legal basis
(sucessfully so far). Other countries and other states are doing the same.
2017, Ylam Nguyen, Constitutional Protection for Future Generations from Climate Change
2014 E. Gibbons, Climate Change, Children’s Rights, and the Pursuit of Intergenerational Climate Justice
OXFAM 2014 From IPCC 2014 AR5
Risk of reversal in progress on world hunger as climate change threatens food security
UNICEF UK Climate change, food systems and children: a case for greater action
2017, F. Perera, Multiple Threats to Child Health from Fossil Fuel
Combustion: Air Pollution & Climate Change
UNICEF UK 2008 Our climate, our children, our responsibility
The implications of climate change for the world’s children
It is the human right issue of all time. 2014, Elizabeth Gibbons, Climate Change, Children’s Rights, and the Pursuit of Intergenerational Climate Justice
The UN Human Rights Commisssion has an ongoing project including the impacts of climate change on the rights of the child.
2017 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment, K. Davies, The Declaration on Human Rights and Climate Change: a new legal tool for global policy change. Big focus on children in this.
Put another way this is the intergenerational equity issue of all time, but apparantly forgotten is the fact that all countries have agreed on the principle of intergenerational equity as sustainable development at the 1992 Rio UN Earth Conference and reaffirmed by all governments at the UN 2012 Rio+20 conference. Indeed under the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change, not withstanding the 2015 Paris climate agreement, all nation parties agree they are bound by, states countries are 'determined to protect the climate system for present and future generations'. Some countries have tried to put rights for future generations into national law. The barrier probably is that our free market economics specifically does not recognize rights of future generations- only the living (today) are recognized.
Our Children's Earth Foundation works to act for them on climate change
UNICEF 2014 The Challenges of Climate Change Insight Children on the front line
UNICEF The benefits of a child-centred approach to climate change adaptation. This is essential right now, but without agressive mitigation at the same time is unlikely to have lasting benefit. Of cource children cannot adapt and the best adaptation is funding and upgrading of public health services.
Communicating the reality of increasing climate change disasters and catastrophes is a dilemma. They have a right to know, but at what age.
2017, M. Ojala and Y. Lakew, Young People and Climate Change Communication
2009 UNICEF Global Climate Change and Child Health:
A review of pathways, impacts and measures to
improve the evidence base*
Yoko Akachi, Donna Goodman, David Parker
2016 Center for Climate Change and Health- focus on Children
2017 UNICEF Thirsting for a Future: Water and Children in a changing climate.
EPA 2016 Climate Change and the Health of Children
2011, E. Kolstad Quantifying Climate Change Impacts on Human Health: A Case Study for Diarrhea
Future climate change may bring disastrous increases in childhood diarrhea.