The climate-changed child: A Children’s Climate Risk Index supplement

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The climate crisis is not just changing the planet – it is changing children.

From the moment of conception, until they grow into adulthood, the health and development of children’s brains, lungs, immune systems and other critical functions are affected by the environment they grow up in.

Geography does not protect against climate change; it is affecting children everywhere – even in high-income countries – and the world is not doing nearly enough to protect them.

This report builds on 2021’s Children’s Climate Risk Index and examines water scarcity and water vulnerability along with the critical actions the international community must take at COP28 to protect children against climate change.

"The global failure to confront the climate crisis – the greatest threat of this generation – has created a child rights crisis. It is jeopardizing every child’s fundamental right to health and well-being.

COP28 cannot be business as usual. We cannot keep going down the same path. Let’s ensure that COP28 becomes a turning point in finally putting children at the center in our shared fight against climate change."

-UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell