Statistics on internal displacement caused by climate disasters generally do not take into account the ages of the victims
Extreme weather disasters driven by climate change caused 43.1 million child displacements from 2016 to 2021, UNICEF warned in a report published on October 5.
At the Green Climate Fund financing conference in Germany, 25 countries pledged more than €9.3 billion.
In an overwhelming report, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) detailed the shocking stories of some of the affected children, while the report’s co-author, Laura Healy, revealed that the data is only “the tip of the iceberg” with many more children possibly affected.
Statistics on internal displacement caused by climate disasters generally do not take into account the ages of the victims. But Unicef worked together with the non-governmental Internal Displacement Monitoring Center to clear the data and reveal the hidden balance of the children.
Between 2016 and 2021, four types of climate disasters – storms, floods, droughts and fires, the frequency of which has increased with climate change – led to 43.1 million child displacements in 44 countries, according to the report. Affected children may suffer other traumas such as being separated from their parents or being victims of child traffickers.
“The reality is that with the impacts of climate change, or better monitoring of displacement when this is a slow-onset event, the number of children uprooted from their homes is going to be much higher,” explained Laura Healy.
The Unicef report offers some predictions about possible future events. According to Healy, children must be prepared “to live in a world of changing climate.”
“For those who have been forced to flee, the fear and impact can be especially devastating, due to worry about whether they can return home, resume their classes, or have to move once again,” the director explained in a statement. Unicef executive Catherine Russell.
“Moving could have saved their lives, but it is also very damaging,” he added.
UNICEF called on world leaders to address this issue at the next climate summit (COP28) that will take place in Dubai in November and December, reported RFI.
Even if the increasingly intense effects of climate change are affecting large areas of the planet, the Unicef report sheds light on particularly vulnerable countries, such as China, India and the Philippines (due to their huge populations and geographical location), or countries in Africa and small island nations, which have proportionally higher risks.
9.3 billion euros promised by developed countries
The world’s richest countries gathered in Bonn, Germany, on Thursday to hold the third financing conference of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). In total, 25 countries have pledged more than €9.3 billion, while another five, including the United States, have announced that they will make new commitments later.
Created in 2010, the GCF funds solar panels in Pakistan, agricultural projects in the Philippines and other climate-related initiatives in developing countries. Since the Paris Agreement in 2015, it has played a key role in fulfilling part of the commitment made by developed countries to provide $100 billion annually in climate aid, a promise unfulfilled since 2020.
To date, around three quarters of Member States have increased their contributions since the last funding conference in 2019. Three countries (Denmark, Ireland and Liechtenstein) have even doubled their contributions.
The United States has refused to announce a new contribution, citing “the uncertainty of our budget processes”, alluding to the deadlock in the House of Representatives following the dismissal of its Republican president, Kevin McCarthy. In 2014, for the first mobilization, the United States had promised about $3 billion under President Barack Obama, but his successor Donald Trump gave nothing five years later.
Making developed countries, historically the main emitters of greenhouse gases, pay for the adaptation of poorer countries to the consequences of climate change and their transition towards an economy less dependent on fossil fuels is one of the hottest topics in climate negotiations. And it will once again be at the center of COP28 in Dubai.
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