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Children will face 7 times more climate disasters

Children will face 7 times more climate disasters

Ground Report | New Delhi: Children and climate disasters; Children around the world will face a sharp increase in heatwaves, floods, and droughts during their lifetimes compared to their grandparents, according to a recent Save The Children report.

On average, children will experience seven times more heatwaves and nearly three times more droughts, floods, and poor harvests due to rapidly accelerating climate change, the research found.

And, those in low- and middle-income countries will be hit the hardest. Afghan children, for example, will endure up to 18 times more heatwaves than previous generations. For their part, the children of Mali will have to overcome up to 10 times bad harvests.

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Children and climate disasters

The research, a collaboration between Save The Children and climate researchers from Belgium’s Vrije Universiteit Brussel, calculated the time of exposure to a range of extreme weather events for children born in 2020 compared to those born in 1960.

The study, which was also published in the journal Science, is based on the pledges to reduce polluting emissions made in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and projects that global temperature will increase by an estimated 2.6 to 3.1 degrees Celsius relative to pre-industrial levels.

This will have an “unacceptable impact on children,” Save The Children said.
“The climate crisis is in essence a crisis of children’s rights,” added Inger Ashing, executive director of the NGO.

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“We can turn this around, but we need to listen to the children and take action. If warming is limited to 1.5 degrees, there is more hope for a bright future for unborn children.”Future at stake in August, a panel of United Nations scientists warned that global warming is spiraling out of control and will cause global devastation for decades to come.

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According to estimates, so far, commitments to reduce emissions are insufficient to limit temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius, and ideally 1.5 degrees as 195 countries committed to the Paris Agreement of 2015.

The report Save The Children found that if global warming is kept at 1.5 degrees, additional exposure of newborns to heatwaves would be reduced by 45 percent and by nearly 40 percent for droughts and floods compared to currently being projected.

“This is what is at stake when governments go to the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow this November,” warned Erin Ryan, author of the study and advisor to Save The Children.

Weather anxiety

In parallel, a major study found that young people are experiencing generalized anxiety, stress, and other negative emotions due to the changing weather. In a survey of 10,000 young people aged 16 to 25, 60% of those surveyed admitted to being ‘very concerned’ or ‘extremely concerned about climate change.

According to the study, many young people feel that their governments have failed them, leaving them scared for the future. Almost half said the fears affected their daily lives, and 4 in 10 said the climate crisis makes them doubt about having children.

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