10 facts you need to know about children and climate change
It is undeniable that climate change will have a serious impact on the future of our children and generations to come. If temperatures rise beyond two Degrees Celsius, the implications for today’s children, and future generations will be grave, and the poorest children will be the hardest hit.
Today is World Environment Day, and while every day we should be conscious of our carbon footprint, today helps us draw attention to the state of our planet because it really is our only home for our children and generations to come.
Here are ten facts that you need to know the about climate change and the impact it will have on the future of our children:
The impact of climate change today
1. In the last decade, more than 150,000 deaths were attributable to climate change each year. Shockingly, 9 out of 10 of those were children. That’s roughly the population of Oxford.
2. In this decade, 175 million children will be negatively impacted by climate change. Nearly all of these children will be living in the developing world. That’s more than three times the size of the entire population of England.
3. In developing countries, climate change will increase the top five causes of death for children under just five years of age, including acute respiratory illness, diarrhoea, malaria, malnutrition and neonatal deaths.
4. Every day, 1,600 children under five die from diarrhoea in the world. That’s about the size of six primary schools in the UK. Rising temperatures lead to increase in diarrhoea. Even just a one per cent increase could put thousands more children needlessly at risk.
5. Rising temperatures in Africa could leave up to 60 million people exposed to malaria. About 800,000 children under five already die from malaria each year – that’s almost the size of nine Wembley Stadiums.
What the future might hold if we don’t act on climate change
6. Climate change is increasing the occurrence of extreme weather and natural disasters such as El Nino. When disaster strikes, children are the most at risk of death or injury. Climate change and drought is driving an increase in global food shortages which are set to dramatically increase the number of children not getting enough to eat.
7. When climate-related disasters interrupt children and young people’s schooling, many never return to complete their education, especially girls.
8. A deteriorating environment – due to climate change – is estimated to drive the migration of 150 to 200 million people. Children forced to migrate because of changing climate, face an increased risk if being exposed to conflict, hunger, or being forced into working in hazardous industries.
How you can help give children a better future
9. We work to ensure children who are at risk of climate change fulfil their potential through education programmes, providing access to water and sanitation and supporting economic security. We also provide humanitarian responses to emergencies and help communities to build resilience so they better support themselves when disasters strike.
10. You can help by sponsoring a child. For every sponsored child, an additional 72 children could benefit.