CERI works to place children’s rights at the centre of climate change decision-making and action.
Children represent almost one-third of the world’s population, and are disproportionately vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to a range of physiological and developmental factors.
At the same time, the activism of children and young people has fundamentally transformed the environmental movement, and brought urgently-needed political attention to the crisis.
Despite this, climate policies, action and finance rarely consider children, and children and young people’s voices are consistently left out of key processes and decision-making fora at all levels.
Through the Paris Agreement, Parties agreed that States should, when taking climate action, respect, promote and consider, inter alia, the rights of children, as well as the principle of intergenerational equity.
Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action
CERI, UNICEF and YOUNGO are the joint custodians of a groundbreaking commitment by States to accelerate inclusive, child and youth-sensitive climate policies and action at national and global levels. We work closely with governments to support the implementation of its commitments.
An unprecedented collaboration by CERI and the wider child rights sector is identifying entry points and pushing for recognition of children’s rights within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Ahead of COP27, the coalition came together for the first time to launch a joint position paper, endorsed by over 25 organizations, setting out the importance of incorporating children’s rights in climate action and avenues for doing so.
Ahead of COP28, the coalition has come together once more to develop joint policy messages for government negotiators.
In 2009, developed countries committed to mobilise $100 billion a year in international climate finance by 2020 to assist developing countries to tackle climate change. This commitment remains unmet, while estimates of finance required far exceed this figure. Urgent investment in mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage is required to protect children and communities that are already experiencing unprecedented impacts.
CERI partners have collaborated on a study to map the degree to which projects under key multilateral climate funds are ‘child-responsive’, and to provide recommendations to decision-makers on how climate finance can better contribute to the promotion of children’s rights.
Titled “Falling Short: Addressing the Climate Finance Gap for Children” concludes that children are being failed by climate funding commitments, despite bearing the brunt of the climate crisis. ‘Child responsiveness’ is defined as addressing the distinct and heightened risks children experience from the climate crisis, strengthening the resilience of child-critical social services and empowering children as agents of change.
Loss & Damage
Children, particularly young children, experience distinct and heightened risks due to climate change, which are linked to their unique physical and physiological vulnerabilities, behaviours and activity patterns. As children have their whole lives ahead of them, any loss or damage suffered at an early age due to climate change and environmental degradation can result in a lifetime of lost opportunity and can impact future generations.
In December 2023, the report titled “Loss and Damage Finance for Children” by UNICEF Global Office of Research and Foresight, along with CERI and other partners, was published to highlight climate-related loss and damage – such as the loss of land, life, livelihoods or cultural heritage and the risks faced by children due to the climate crisis.
The report also features insights from consultation workshops with children aged 11–18, sharing their lived experiences of loss and damage and their recommendations for the Loss and Damage Fund, and loss and damage funding arrangements, in their own words.