Climate change, and its impacts on natural and human resources, threatens to undermine human development across the globe. Developing nations, where resilience to shocks is low and livelihoods are often highly dependent on natural resources such as water and land, will be the most affected by climate change. Within these nations, children are perhaps the most vulnerable to the impact of climate change. Without concerted action, millions of children will be at increased risk from infectious disease, malnutrition, water scarcity, disasters, and the collapse of public services and infrastructure. The response to the threat of climate change thus demands a “child-centred” approach. Many of the measures that can address children’s vulnerability to climate change are already well known and are some of the lowest-cost measures available.

The aim of this paper is to present a scoping study that highlights some of the evidence in an economic argument for a child-centred approach to adaptation.

A girl smiles as she solves a math problem at the blackboard of a UNICEF-supported child-protection centre in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan.  © UNICEF/NYHQ2010-2871/Noorani

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Published: 9 May 2011

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