Recently, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has released the Childrens Climate Risk Index (CCRI).
India’s position in Childrens Climate Risk Index
- India is among four South Asian countries where children are most at risk of the impacts of climate change threatening their health, education, and protection.
- The index has placed India as one of the 33 extremely high-risk countries with flooding and air pollution being the repeated environmental shocks.
- It is estimated that more than 600 million Indians will face ‘acute water shortages’ in the coming years.
- It stated that twenty-one of the world’s 30 cities with the most polluted air in 2020 were in India.
Key Global Highlights under Children’s Climate Risk Index
- It stated that, approximately 1 billion children (nearly half of the world’s children) live in extremely high-risk countries.
- It found that:
- 1 billion children are “highly exposed” to exceedingly high levels of air pollution;
- 920 million to water scarcity;
- 820 million to heat waves;
- 815 million to lead pollution;
- 600 million to vector-borne diseases;
- 400 million to tropical storms;
- 330 million to riverine flooding; and
- 240 million to coastal flooding
- The 33 extremely high-risk countries for children such as the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau, collectively are responsible for a mere nine percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.
- Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and India are among four South Asian countries where children are at extremely high risk of the impacts of the climate crisis, with a ranking of 14th, 15th, 25th and 26th respectively.
- India’s neighbours Nepal is ranked 51st and Sri Lanka 61st whereas Bhutan is ranked 111th, with children at relatively lower risk.
- It calls on governments and businesses to protect children from the climate crisis not only by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but also by:
- Increasing investments in health and hygiene services, education and clean water;
- Providing children with climate education and green skills;
- Including young people in climate negotiations and decision making; and
- Ensuring a “green, low-carbon and inclusive” COVID-19 recovery
- It stated that investments that reduce exposure to water scarcity can considerably reduce overall climate risk for 120 million children.
- It also provided that investments that reduce exposure to coastal flooding can considerably reduce overall climate risk for 525 million children.
- Improving access to social protection requires working towards universal coverage of child and family benefits as well as ensuring that social protection systems provide connections to other vital services in health, education and nutrition as well as the social welfare workforce.
Improved education which builds knowledge and skills will contribute to improved sustainability practices and a reduction in emissions at the individual, institutional and communal levels.
About Childrens Climate Risk Index
- The climate crisis is a child rights crisis presents the Children’s Climate Risk Index (CCRI).
It uses data to generate new global evidence on how many children are currently exposed to climate and environmental hazards, shocks and stresses.
- It is a composite index which brings together geographical data by analyzing the exposure to climate and environmental hazards, shocks and stresses and child vulnerability.
- It helps to understand and measure the likelihood of climate and environmental shocks or stresses leading to the:
- Erosion of development progress; and
- Deepening of deprivation and/or humanitarian situations affecting children or vulnerable households and groups
- It provides the first comprehensive view of children’s exposure and vulnerability to the impacts of climate change to help prioritize action for those most at risk and ultimately ensure today’s children inherit a liveable planet.
Note: The Global Climate Risk Index is an annual publication by the environmental think tank and sustainable development lobbyist Germanwatch.
- India was ranked the seventh worst-hit country in 2019 in the Global Climate Risk Index 2021.
Environment Current Affairs : Click here