UNICEF report on climate change

  • IASbaba
  • October 29, 2022
  • 0
Environment & Ecology
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In news: United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) recently released a report. The title of this report is “The coldest year of the rest of their lives

  • It calls for “Protecting children from the escalating impacts of heatwaves”


  • Around 559 million children are exposed to high heatwave frequency and around 624 million children are exposed to one of three other high heat measures – high heatwave duration, high heatwave severity or extreme high temperatures.
  • By 2050, virtually every child on earth – over 2 billion children – is forecast to face more frequent heatwaves, regardless of whether the world achieves a ‘low greenhouse gas emission scenario’ with an estimated 1.7 degrees of warming in 2050 or a ‘very high greenhouse gas emission scenario’ with an estimated 2.4 degrees of warming in 2050.
  • These heat waves will make it difficult for young people to regulate their body temperature. Therefore, resulting in vulnerability to health issues like chronic respiratory conditions, asthma, and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Children in northern regions will face the most dramatic increases in high heatwave severity while by 2050, nearly half of all children in Africa and Asia will face sustained exposure to extreme high temperatures.
  • Extreme atmospheric heat can result in drought, which will cause hurdles in accessing clean drinking water and healthy food.
  • The report highlights that the heatwaves will result in the stunted development of children and force families to migrate.
  • These findings underscore the urgent need to adapt the services children rely on as unavoidable impacts of global heating unfold. It also makes a case for more substantial emissions reduction, to prevent the worst impacts of the other high heat measures.


  • Protecting children from climate devastation by adapting social services.
  • Preparing children to live in a climate-changed world.
  • Prioritizing children and young people in climate finance and resources.
  • Preventing a climate catastrophe by drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions and keep 1.5 degrees Celsius alive.

Effect of climate change on children:

  • A study has been conducted, based on data from the Inter-sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP). This is a community-driven climate-impacts modelling initiative that assess the differential impacts of climate change. The ISIMIP data were used alongside country-scale, life-expectancy data, population data and temperature trajectories from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
  • During his or her lifetime, a child born in 2021 is likely to experience on average twice as many wildfires, two to three times more droughts, almost three times more river floods and crop failures and about seven times more heat waves compared to a person who is, say, 60 years old today, the researchers have found.
  • Under a scenario of current “insufficient” climate policies, dangerous extreme heatwave events, which affect about 15% of the global land area today, could treble to 46% by the end of this century.
  • However, if countries are able to follow through with their climate policies as decided under the Paris Climate Agreement, this effect could be limited to 22%, which is just seven percentage points more than the global land area that is affected today.
  • A 1.5-degree target will reduce young people’s potential exposure to extreme events on average by 24% globally. For North America it’s minus 26%, for Europe and Central Asia minus 28%, and in the Middle East and North Africa even minus 39%.

Source: Indian Express


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