The latest IPCC report has revealed children are expected to experience three to four times as many extreme climate events in their lifetime, an urgent signal that more must urgently be done to reduce emissions and safeguard the lives of future generations, said Save the Children.
According to the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the current pace and scale of climate action are insufficient to reduce rising global temperatures and secure a livable future for all, including children.
Save the Children Australia’s Principal Climate Change Adviser, Paul Mitchell, said:
“We know the climate crisis poses a risk to children’s most fundamental rights. Children and young people are already grappling with the negative consequences of a global failure to rapidly address the climate crisis.
“Just in the last few years, in Australia we have seen increasingly severe climate-fuelled disasters, including flooding and bushfires, which are radically altering the lives of children and repeatedly testing their resilience.
“Children in developing nations, including in the Pacific, are carrying the greatest burden as the climate crisis worsens. Earlier this month, children in Vanuatu were confronted with two back-to-back category four cyclones in the space of days.
“While we acknowledge the Australian Government has made active strides towards reducing emissions through its Climate Change Bill, this latest report makes clear that we must move further and faster to dramatically decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
“We must also deal with the immediate impacts of the climate crisis by investing more in adaptation. Working with local communities in Australia and the region to meet these challenges head-on will help to safeguard future generations.”
Save the Children Australia in 2019 became the first international development NGO to be accredited by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) – the world’s largest dedicated climate finance mechanism. This allows the agency to partner with developing countries to develop and implement large scale projects that directly build the resilience of climate-vulnerable children and communities. Save the Children, in partnership with the GCF and the Government of Vanuatu, is delivering the world’s largest locally-led climate change adaptation project – helping ensure that communities in Vanuatu will be better able to manage the impacts of future extreme events.
The leading child rights organisation has a long history of responding to disasters across Australia and the Pacific, including the most recent tropical cyclones in Vanuatu, as well as the 2022 East Coast floods, the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires and Cyclone Trevor in the Northern Territory and the Townsville floods in Far North Queensland.