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World The climate crisis: Our children warned us, but we did not listen

12:06  07 august  2020
12:06  07 august  2020 Source:   aljazeera.com

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“People do not understand the scale and pace of the climate emergency,” Jamie Henn, strategy and communications director for 350.org, an international climate campaign, told us . “This is not an issue with one future date where we will start to see effects. We may hit tipping points at any time in which

“I want children growing up in Australia to feel positive about their future, and I think it is important we give them that confidence that they will not only We can’t have them growing up as mushrooms, but we ’ve got to get a bit of context into this.” Morrison said being present at the United Nations should

a person standing on a beach: Environmental activist Licypriya Kangujam, eight years old, holds a sign at Juhu beach during a cleaning drive in Mumbai, India, February 21, 2020 [AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade] © [AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade] Environmental activist Licypriya Kangujam, eight years old, holds a sign at Juhu beach during a cleaning drive in Mumbai, India, February 21, 2020 [AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade]

When children start suing governments for inaction on climate change, as they have in South Korea, Pakistan, India and several other countries, it is time to sit up and take notice.

The climate crisis is already a menace to countries battered by extreme weather events. But with much worse to come for future generations, it is also a child rights crisis. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child enshrines children's rights to survival. It explicitly mentions "the dangers and risks of environmental pollution" including global heating.

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The children also say that their lives have already been impacted by the climate crisis , and that their future livelihoods will be endangered as the impacts worsen. The children do not ask for any monetary compensation. Instead, they ask that the countries immediately adjust their climate goals and work

Unicef warned that climate breakdown would reverse the gains made in recent years in protecting In the US presidential campaign, George Bush Sr says: “Those who think we are powerless to do Children are essential actors in responding to the climate crisis . We owe it to them to put all our

But in a region that is already the world's most disaster-prone, home to three of the biggest carbon-emitting countries and 99 of the 100 most polluted cities, such rights are being flushed into a pit of toxic waste.

These rights are undermined by every new coal plant opened, every new acre of forest burned, and every missed opportunity to rebuild the region's currently stalled economies on cleaner, greener foundations.

There is a strong moral obligation on governments to take effective action to help minimise the effects of our unsustainable consumption of natural resources. But there is also growing recognition of governments' legal obligations to do so. And our children have been making their voices heard. Until COVID-19.

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The climate crisis threatens global sea-level rises of well over half a metre if we fail to act, while tidal storm Fiercer and more frequent hurricanes will batter us , and millions of people who live in areas where crops If we do not throw everything we can at the problem, there won’t be much left anyway.

Children at tens of thousands of schools in more than 100 countries are due to take part in the walkouts “Those in power are not only betraying us , and taking away our future, but are responsible for the World leaders may listen to the school pupils taking part in one of the largest global climate

The global pandemic has shifted everyone's attention and silenced much of the child- and youth-led buzz around the climate crisis that captured public attention last year. Though many young climate activists have remained engaged, our analysis of social media finds the number of public online conversations about climate, which steadily rose during 2019, declined sharply in 2020 when COVID-19 emerged. Globally, public online discussions about climate between April and June this year plummeted by a staggering 70 percent compared with the same period last year.

But although COVID-19 has knocked the climate crisis off the political agenda, it does not mean it is not a burning issue. If anything, it poses a far greater threat to humanity than COVID-19, and no vaccine can fix it.

With their futures most at stake, children and youth must be heard and their needs integrated when governments address the climate emergency with the bold level of ambition required, but collectively lacking so far.

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The police tried to frighten us with arrests but we just moved on. We are really sorry for anyone who did have We have inherited a system which fuels the climate crisis that is threatening our future. Equally, the poorest children on Earth are nowadays suffering the worst impacts of a climate crisis

The impacts of the climate crisis could increase divisions, Alston said. He said the most recent HRC resolution on the climate crisis did not recognise “that the enjoyment of all human rights by vast “ States have marched past every scientific warning and threshold, and what was once considered

Asia-Pacific governments must be at the forefront because they face the biggest human impacts of the climate crisis. It is home to half the world's population and two-thirds of its poor. Half of Asia's urban population live in low-lying coastal zones and flood plains, which are most at risk from rising sea levels and floods.

This year, South Asia has already seen two severe cyclones within a month and is currently experiencing one of the deadliest monsoons in years. Some Pacific island nations like Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu risk being wiped out by just a one-metre sea level rise. In China's coastal areas, 23 million people are at risk from a one-metre rise in sea level. For East Asia as a whole, that figure jumps to 40 million.

Scientists are warning our destruction of nature is heightening pandemic risks. Studies show that pandemics caused by viruses of animal origin are becoming more frequent, largely because of unsustainable human activities, like deforestation, illegal wildlife trade, water and air pollution and the industrial-scale meat industry, all of which disrupt the natural world and force animals and insects into contact with humans. Climate change is aggravating such disruptions, and children from poor and marginalised communities will continue to bear the worst impacts.

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  Modelers Warn Baltimore, Boston, and Chicago Could Be Next COVID-19 Hot Spots First it was Seattle. Then New York City. Then the novel coronavirus hit Arizona, Texas, and Florida with a vengeance, infecting hundreds of thousands of people and leading to backlogs of bodies in morgues that are still growing today. The big question, as the weather begins to turn cold, flu season approaches, and schools reopen across the nation, is a simple one: Which city is next? The modelers at PolicyLab, the think tank at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) whose projections are often used by the White House Coronavirus Task Force, think they have an answer: Baltimore, Chicago, and Boston.

The state spends a spiralling amount on vulnerable children yet fails to protect them. Recruitment crises will worsen, and finally the family court system will implode because the capacity simply does not exist to hear vastly increased numbers of care applications from less experienced social workers.

In London, crowds called for the climate crisis to take centre stage in next month’s election and Millie Hedley, 17, from Watford, said: “I can’t vote, which is very annoying, but I try to do as much as I “World leaders say they hear us and that they understand the urgency. But in one year of climate

Young climate activists and our scientists have been warning for years that humanity is consuming and abusing nature beyond its limits. Now we are paying the price for ignoring their warnings. But we want to say - we hear you. That is why the Stockholm Environment Institute and Save the Children are supporting a new campaign by young people across Asia-Pacific to make sure their concerns are heard loud and clear.

Tackling the climate crisis and recovering from COVID-19 requires an all-of-society approach. Implementing the right technical measures like improving energy efficiency is important, but first we need to focus on empowerment and inclusion, and that means giving children and youth the tools and platforms they need to bring about lasting change. Yes, we need to "build back better", but do so sustainably, placing social justice and gender equality front and centre.

Seventeen-year-old Kaviti from Sri Lanka recognises the problem. "My health is affected. I have some issues with my lungs and I get rashes from the heat," she says. "The sea is filled with plastic. I do not think adults are working hard enough for this problem because most of them do not care, they put plastic and waste and garbage all over the city."

This is our commitment to Kaviti and millions of children around the world. Let us show them we care.

The views expressed in this article are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial stance.

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