Impact of the climate crisis on children

27.08.2021

A billion children in the world are at "extremely high risk" of the impact of the climate crisis — UNICEF

Almost 330 million children (one in seven children in the world) live in areas affected by at least five serious shocks.

 

According to the UNICEF Report, about a billion children – almost half of the world's 2.2 billion children – live in one of the 33 countries classified as countries "at extremely high risk" of the impact of the climate crisis, Anas Abuov, the expert of Economic Research Institute (ERI) JSC notes.

 

According to him, on August 20, 2021, UNICEF for the first time published The Climate Crisis Is a Child Rights Crisis: Introducing the Children’s Climate Risk Index Report.

 

This document, prepared in cooperation with Friday for Future, the international public eco movement of schoolchildren and students, has compiled the rating of countries on the basis of the level of impact on children of such climatic and ecological shocks as cyclones and heat waves, and their vulnerability to these shocks based on their access to basic services.

 

The Report's data reflect the number of children currently exposed, and these figures are likely to worsen as the effects of climate change increase.

 

Figure 1. Children’s Climate Risk Index (CCRI)

Source: UNICEF (2021), The Climate Crisis is a Child Rights Crisis: Introducing the Children’s Climate Risk Index

Note: The interactive map is available on UNICEF official website: https://data.unicef.org/resources/childrens-climate-risk-index-report/


In the study, scientists calculated the Children’s Climate Risk Index. The results reflected that currently:

  • 240 million children (one in ten children in the world) are significantly at risk of coastal flooding;
  • 330 million children (one in seven children in the world) are significantly at risk of river flooding;
  • 400 million children (almost one in six children in the world) are significantly at risk of cyclones;
  • 600 million children (more than 1 in 4 children in the world) are significantly at risk of vector-borne diseases (such as malaria, dengue fever and others);
  • 815 million children (more than one third of children in the world) are significantly at risk of lead contamination;
  • 820 million children (more than one third of children in the world) are significantly at risk of periods of extreme heat;
  • 920 million children (more than one third of children in the world) are significantly at risk of water scarcity;
  • 1 billion children (almost half of all children in the world) are significantly at risk of high levels of air pollution.

Almost every child on the planet is at risk of at least one of the above-mentioned climatic and environmental hazards. 

 

However, the data show that some countries face more than one of these problems. An estimated 850 million children (one in three children in the world) live in areas where at least four of these climatic and environmental shocks coincide. Almost 330 million children (one in seven children in the world) live in areas affected by at least five serious shocks.

 

The Report also notes that there is a disparity between where greenhouse gas emissions are generated and where children are exposed to the most significant climate impacts.

 

The 33 countries "at extremely high risk" collectively account for only 9% of global CO2 emissions (of which the 10 countries with the highest risk emit only 0.55% of global emissions). Conversely, the 10 countries with the highest levels of emissions together account for almost 70% of global emissions. Among them, only one country (India) is classified in the Index as "extremely high risk".

 

"Climate change is extremely unfair. Despite the fact that no child is responsible for the increase in global temperature, it is children who pay the highest price. Children from the countries that bear the least responsibility for what is happening will suffer the most," Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director said. 

 

However, in her opinion, we still have time to act and take appropriate measures. Improving children's access to basic services such as water and sanitation, health care and education can significantly improve their ability to survive in the face of these climate hazards.

 

The Children’s Climate Risk Index (CCRI) is structured around two main components:

 

1. exposure to climate and environmental hazards, shocks and stresses;

2. vulnerability of children.

 

For these two components, the Index combines 57 variables to measure risk in 163 countries.

 

As noted above, the group of countries with an extremely high level of risk includes 33 countries, of which the most vulnerable are: the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Somalia, and Niger. Among the 163 countries included in the rating, children of Iceland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Finland, Estonia and Sweden are at the lowest risk of climate and environmental shocks (see Fig. 1 and Table 1).

 

Table 1. Distribution of countries in the rating by the level of climate risks for children

 

Risk Level

Range of Points

Number of Countries

Positions of some countries

country (position in the rating)

Extremely High

7.1-10.0

33

TOP 10: CAR (1), Chad (2), Nigeria (2), Guinea (4), Guinea-Bissau (4), Somalia (4), Niger (7), South Sudan (7), Democratic Republic of the Congo (9),

Angola (10), Cameroon (10), Madagascar (10), Mozambique (10)

High 

5.5-7.0

27

Papua and New Guinea (34), Ghana (35), China (40), Zambia (45), Thailand (50), Mexico (54), Egypt (58), Venezuela (59)

Medium-High

3.8-5.4

55

Uzbekistan (61), Brazil (70), South Korea (72),

USA (80), Russia (90), Japan (94), Kyrgyzstan (94), France (102), Kazakhstan (102), Ukraine (111)

(Low-Medium)

2.1-3.7

41

Armenia (117), Canada (117), Belarus (130), Uruguay (135), Netherlands (140), Georgia (142),

Germany (142), Switzerland (147), Norway (154)

Low

0.0-0.2

6

TOP 5: Sweden (158), Estonia (159), Finland (159), New Zealand (161), Luxembourg (162), Iceland (163)

Source: UNICEF (2021), The Climate Crisis is a Child Rights Crisis: Introducing the Children’s Climate Risk Index

 

According to the ERI expert, Kazakhstan is on the 102nd place in the rating, and is included in a large group of countries (55) for which the level of climate risks for children is defined as Medium-High. According to the Report, children of Kazakhstan are at a relatively lower risk of climate change compared to other Central Asian countries. Our country is also ranked higher than the USA, Russia, Japan and Turkey.

 

"Climate change is a pressing issue that affects all areas of human activity and affects all countries, including Kazakhstan. The increased impact of climate change, among other challenges, could lead to a worsening of the situation of children in the country and increase their vulnerability to climate and environmental shocks, natural disasters and other stressors", Anas Abuov, the ERI expert added.

 



Views: 683
Saved: 27.09.2022




subscribe to the newsletter

Site policy
When working with site materials, it is allowed to use text with a mandatory hyperlink to the source. The editors of the site do not always share the opinions of the authors of the articles.


     



©2020 Барлық құқықтар сақталған.




Wait please...

Хорошая погода, не так ли?

Subscribe to the newsletter


The operation completed successfully.



ERROR!