On 28 Feb 2022, the world’s leading authority on climate science, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability which assesses the impacts of climate change, particularly on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities at the global and regional levels. The Report also highlights the vulnerabilities of the natural world and human societies, and their capacities and limits to adapt to climate change. In summary, the IPCC argues that ‘this report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction. Our actions today will shape how people adapt and nature responds to increasing climate risks.’
In this statement, ARNEC highlights the linkages between the Report’s key messages and the implications to Early Childhood Development, and shows how Report findings offer evidence that reinforces ARNEC’s call to put young children at the centre of environmental and climate actions, and for the environment to be at the centre of early childhood development.
1. Climate change worsens inequalities and adversely affects the most vulnerable populations, including young children, of the Asia-Pacific region.
2. Adaptation measures and accelerated action are urgently needed - our actions today shape our children’s future.
3. Human development measures are key in promoting sustainable resilience and adaptation.
a. Climate change is a global challenge that requires collective action. The effort to pursue climate-resilient development is at risk, especially if global warming exceeds 1.5°C (2.7°F), and at even greater risk in some regions if global warming exceeds 2°C (3.6°F). This key finding underlines the urgency for climate action, focusing on equity and justice. ECD is inextricably linked to environmental issues and sustainable development policies in two ways: (1) young children urgently need support to be able to absorb the risk and damage caused by environmental degradation; and (2) promoting the well-being and rights of young children is key to building a sustainable future .
b. We support the interagency call to action from the world's leading child focused agencies to governments and the IPCC , such as World Vision, UNICEF, and Save the Children, that asks for future IPCC reports to give greater emphasis to children, reflecting the depth of available science as well as the needs of children (Tanner et al. 2022). We reinforce the ask for Governments and the IPCC to demonstrate the importance of children and future generations by commissioning an IPCC Special Report on Children and Climate Change, including the youngest children aged 0-8. The disproportionate burden that young children aged 0-8 will suffer due to a changing climate and the power of investing in young children’s development need to be recognized as part of climate change mitigation, adaptation, resilience, and the movement towards sustainable development.
c. We stand with the youngest children and urge for their voices to be heard. The evidence in the IPCC Report shows that young children must be at the forefront of the collective action against climate change and be included in the preparations for COP27 and in all environmental and climate actions thereafter. Urgent action is needed now to realise the rights of the youngest children and protect their future against the climate crisis that they will so unfairly have to face.
Our actions today shape our children's future. Read ARNEC’s full statement on the recent IPCC report or click on the download icon for a copy.
Act now against climate change! Secure the future of young children.