In news– UNICEF’s ‘The Climate Crisis Is a Child Rights Crisis report’ Introduced the Children’s Climate Risk Index recently.
About the report
The ‘Climate Crisis Is a Child Rights Crisis’ is the first climate report to combine high-resolution geographic maps detailing global environmental and climate impacts with maps that show regions where children are vulnerable due to an array of stressors, including poverty and lack of access to education, health care or clean water. Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, founder of Fridays for Future, the youth-led global climate strike movement also collaborated with UNICEF in launching this report.
Children’s Climate Risk Index(CCRI)
- It ranks countries based on children’s exposure to climate and environmental shocks such as cyclones and heatwaves, as well as their vulnerability to those shocks based on their access to essential services.
- It provides the first comprehensive look at how exactly children are affected by the climate crisis.
- It offers a road map for policymakers seeking to prioritise action based on those who are most at risk.
- The index shows the likelihood of a child’s ability to survive climate change.
- Approximately 1 billion children, nearly half the world’s child population live in countries that are at an “extremely high risk” from climate impacts.
- Almost every single child on the planet has been exposed to at least one climate or environmental stressor, such as air pollution, flooding, heat waves, tropical storms, flooding or drought.
- The report found that 850 million children, approximately one-third of the world’s child population are exposed to four or more stressors.
- The CCRI found that 1 billion children are highly exposed to exceedingly high levels of air pollution, 920 million to water scarcity.
- It further adds that 820 million are exposed to heat waves, 815 million to lead pollution, 600 million to vector-borne diseases, 400 million to tropical storms, 330 million to riverine flooding, and 240 million to coastal flooding.
- The CCRI reveals a worrisome inequity regarding who must ultimately deal with the consequences of climate change.
Status of India & its neighbors
- As per the UNICEF report, India is among four South Asian countries where children are most at risk of the impacts of climate change threatening their health, education, and protection.
- Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and India are among four South Asian countries where children are at extremely high risk of the impacts of the climate crisis, with a ranking of 14th, 15th, 25th and 26th respectively.
- However, Nepal is ranked 51st, Sri Lanka 61st and Bhutan is ranked 111th, with children at relatively lower risk.
- CCRI has placed India as one of the 33 extremely high-risk countries with flooding and air pollution being the repeated environmental shocks .
- It is estimated that more than 600 million Indians will face ‘acute water shortages’ in the coming years.
- At the same time flash flooding is to increase significantly in the majority of India’s urban areas once the global temperature increase rises above 2° Celsius.
- Twenty-one of the world’s 30 cities with the most polluted air in 2020 were in India.
- The 33 extremely high-risk countries for children including the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau collectively are responsible for a mere nine percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.
United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF)
- The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), originally known as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund.
- It is a United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide.
- It was created by the United Nations General Assembly on 11 December 1946, to provide emergency food and healthcare to children and mothers in countries that had been devastated by World War II.
- In 1950, UNICEF’s mandate was extended to address the long-term needs of children and women in developing countries everywhere.
- In 1953 it became a permanent part of the United Nations System, and the words “international” and “emergency” were dropped from the organization’s name, though it retained the original acronym, “UNICEF”.
UNICEF’s activities include providing immunizations and disease prevention, administering treatment for children and mothers with HIV, enhancing childhood and maternal nutrition, improving sanitation, promoting education, and providing emergency relief in response to disasters.