How many world leaders does it take to change the future? More than 120, if this year’s COP26 climate negotiations are anything to go by. The annual climate conference failed to meet its most essential promise: to put children at the heart of the decision making process.
Despite pledges to be the ‘most inclusive COP’, the Summit’s outcomes fell short yet again. That needs to change. The Glasgow delegates might not be around by the time the world’s at breaking point. But their children and grandchildren will be. That’s why it’s time to see the climate crisis for what it is - a child rights crisis - and give them a say in the future of our planet.
Young people on its frontline are already paying the price of inaction with their lives.
CHILDREN WILL SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES OF TODAY’S DECISIONS
During the two-week conference, over 5 million babies were born worldwide. And yet, their futures already hang in the balance. They will live through seven times as many heatwaves, more than twice as many droughts, and three times as many crop failures as their grandparents.
Extreme weather events will be most catastrophic in developing countries. Children who already have no voice - those already facing inequality and discrimination - will be hit the hardest.
Save the Children’s Global Director of Child Poverty and Climate, Yolande Wright, says: “The hunger crisis is worsening in many regions, including East Africa where another drought is bringing millions to the brink of starvation, and serious funding shortages mean we cannot take the action we know is needed to save lives and livelihoods.
"We aren’t discussing distant climate impacts that might happen – we are talking about crises happening right now, where children are affected first and worst and many are tragically already losing their lives.”