Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Goal 13 aims to combat climate change and its impacts by taking urgent action. Climate change and environmental degradation are equity issues that undermine the rights of every child, especially the most disadvantaged. The realization of children’s rights, as embedded throughout the SDGs, are contingent on taking action to address and adapt to climate change.

Climate change is a direct threat to a child’s ability to survive, grow and thrive. While children are the least responsible for the changing environment, close to 90 per cent of the burden of diseases attributable to climate change is borne by children under the age of 5. Every year, over half a million children under the age of 5 die from causes related to air pollution. Even more will suffer lasting damage to their developing brains and lungs. Today, for the first time, a global generation of children will grow up in a world made far more dangerous and uncertain by changing climate and a degraded environment.

UNICEF works with partners at the global and local levels to ensure that children can live in a safe and clean environment. UNICEF helps put children at the centre of climate change strategies and response plans, recognizing them as agents of change who are taking action everywhere to protect the future of the planet.  Data are required to accelerate strategies and actions on priority areas for children and climate action. Climate change related data/evidence on areas most relevant to children is scarce, specifically on interlinkages between climate and child health, nutrition, education, displacement, migration, etc. Collecting and disaggregating Goal 13 targets and indicators is vital to understanding how and where children are being left behind in the context of addressing climate-related issues and hazards in all the countries.

About the Author: Wardah Razzaq is a graduate of environment from University of the Punjab, Lahore. She is an environmentalist by profession and by passion. She is also an environment and climate change activist, climate reality leader, sustainable development goals advocate (ambassador of sustainability), green blogger and member of eco-club Pakistan. She is envisioned, determined and committed at raising awareness among the general public regarding various environmental issues, their impacts and solutions and that how they can become the responsible citizens of Pakistan eco-friendly. She loves to write on nature, environment climate and sustainable development.