20111114 Children and Climate Change Regional Report UNICEF
Children and Climate Change
Climate change is one of the biggest development challenges of the twenty-first century.
Communities across the globe are already experiencing the impacts of more extreme weather events, temperature changes and disease outbreaks.
Though no one will be immune to the effects of climate change, children are particularly vulnerable. The types of climate risks confronting children are diverse, ranging from direct physical impacts, such as cyclones, storm surges and extreme temperatures, to impacts on their education, psychological stress and nutritional challenges. Some of the leading killers of children worldwide are highly sensitive to climate changes. Higher temperatures have been linked to increased rates of malnutrition, cholera, diarrhoeal disease and vector-borne diseases like dengue and malaria. Yet children’s underdeveloped immune systems put them at far greater risk of contracting these diseases and succumbing to their complications.
Even moderate climate change impacts could have profound long-term consequences on children’s overall development, threatening achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
NB: (Editors note) Please read with a ‘disability’ lens.