Climate Change and children

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Home > COP26: The climate crisis is a child rights crisis

Right now, one billion children are at extremely high risk because of the impacts of climate change. Climate change is not simply an environmental crisis. It’s a children’s rights crisis. Climate change threatens children’s rights to food and water, homes, health, and education. 

We know climate change is the single most significant crisis facing children and young people today. The consequences of climate change have been proven time after time. Now, it’s time for decisive action.

In November, the UK will host the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. The Prime Minister has said that this event is a crucial moment for securing a brighter future for our children and future generations. It’s time for the UK Government to lead the way and put children at the heart of their global response to the climate crisis.

Help protect children from climate change

The climate crisis threatens children’s rights to live, learn and grow. Children need action and a say in how the world responds to this crisis. Support UNICEF’s call for world leaders to listen to children and involve them in the solutions.

Sign the petition today

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A girl stands on an ice floe on a shore of the Arctic Ocean in Barrow, Alaska.

Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action

Children around the world, along with UNICEF, CERI and YOUNGO, have drafted a declaration for every government to sign. It is the first declaration of its kind, and it calls for decision-makers to commit to developing global principles on child rights and the environment, and to make sure climate policies are inclusive, and child- and youth-centred. It’s time to listen to children and involve them in the solutions to this crisis.

The UK Committee for UNICEF is asking the UK Government to show their support for children and sign the declaration, and to encourage other governments attending the UN Climate Change Conference to do the same.

The children and young people of today should not have to be solely responsible for bearing the brunt of a problem they didn’t create. Will you support a brighter future for children in the UK and around the world? Please sign the petition asking the UK Government to support the Intergovernmental Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action.

UNICEF’s work to tackle climate change

UNICEF works for every child to be able to fulfil their potential. We have climate programmes in 74 countries. These programmes are working to build a safer, cleaner world for children, with a focus on climate resilience and low carbon development, in ways that involve children and young people.

UNICEF supports:

  • Climate-smart health centres and school
  • Climate-resilient water, sanitation, and hygiene services
  • Reducing exposure to pollution
  • Involvement of children and young people

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