Future-proofing children against climate change needed

The Climate Change Commission emphasized the need to “future-proof our children in the midst of climate change” during the conference on “Children Displaced in a Changing Climate: Preparing for a Future Already Underway.”

Participating in discussions aimed at establishing a common vision to prevent and prepare for the increasing displacement of children in the context of climate change, CCC vice chairperson and executive director Robert E.A. Borje shared the Philippines’ experience as the “country adopts a whole-of-country and whole-of-society approach in developing policies geared towards low-carbon, climate-resilient, and sustainable development.”

A joint report of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, supported by the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, identified floods, storms, droughts, and wildfires as the most common weather-related hazards leading to the largest number of displacements.

The report also stated children’s heightened vulnerability to climate and environmental shocks compared to adults.

“The Philippines acknowledges the urgency of taking more concrete actions and optimizing opportunities to transition to a more climate-smart and climate-resilient pathway,” Borje said.

He outlined the following concrete actions: catalyzing data to determine necessary support of displaced individuals especially children; ramping up efforts in championing the welfare of children amid threats of displacement due to climate crisis; and championing human-centered interventions to address the social impacts of climate change.

As we transform our children from victims to victors, Borje encouraged the delegates to not just provide mere answers but concrete solutions.

“It is our responsibility to provide concrete and evidence-based actions to ensure a sustainable world for our future generations. Our actions and initiatives count as means to save lives, protect our livelihoods and secure our future,” he said.