Weather disasters fueled by climate change – from floods to droughts, storms to wildfires – sparked 43.1 million child displacements from 2016 to 2021, stated a senior UN Children's Fund official, noting that nearly a billion children are exposed to “extremely high risks” from the effects of climate change according to Children’s Climate Risk Index (CCRI).

“Children under five years of age bear nearly 90 percent of the global burden of diseases linked to climate change, and 40 million children are having their education disrupted every year because of disasters exacerbated by climate change, and this number continues to increase,” Kitty van der Heijden, Deputy Executive Director, Partnerships, of UNICEF, told the Emirates News Agency (WAM) on the sideline of COP28 in Dubai.

“Only 2.4 percent of climate finance from key multilateral climate funds support projects incorporating child-responsive activities.”

She expressed her gratitude to the UAE’s COP 28 Presidency for allowing young people to participate and express their opinion in making decisions that affect their lives, considering that this will change the course of climate negotiations and outcomes related to the future of these emerging generations.

At COP28, she said UNICEF is calling for: Elevating children within the final COP28 Cover Decision and convening an expert dialogue on children and climate change; Embedding children and intergeneration equity in the Global Stocktake (GST); Including children and climate resilient essential services within the final decision on the Global Goal for Adaptation (GGA) and Making the Loss and Damage Fund and funding arrangements child-responsive with child rights embedded in the fund's governance and decision-making process.