690 million children at risk from climate change and global warming, says UNICEF

The World Climate Conference, which is scheduled to take place in Paris, has acquired a greater urgency to chalk out some drastic measure to deal with global warming. The UN has reported that hundreds of millions of children will be exposed to the impacts of climate change.

UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) in its report ahead of the two week Paris climate talks called for urgent measures in efforts to adapt to climate change and redouble efforts to protect those displaced by disasters or inhospitable environments.

The World Body also advised educating the children who should receive education and training on climate change and must be allowed to play a central role in helping address it.

More than 530 million children reside in extremely flood-prone areas. A vast majority of these children reside Asia and in countries where more than half the population live below the poverty line. 160 million people live in regions that regularly suffer from severe drought while over half of them live in Africa. It further added that more than 115 million people live in the extremely high-risk zone of tropical cyclones.

Countries have already pledged to limit global warming by 2 degrees Celsius in a bid to avoid further deterioration of weather and rising seas. However, measures chalked out by nations to curb planet-warming emissions ahead of the Paris conference fall far short.

UNICEF’s executive director, Anthony Lake, said that we know what is required to be done to stop a catastrophe and not doing it will be unconscionable.

The agency’s report said that more ambitious action needs to be taken to reduce emissions. This will save more children from the ill effects of climate change. The impacts of carbon already emitted into the atmosphere must be dealt with seriously.

Already the ill effects are being borne by the children. Severe weather conditions precipitate malnutrition and spread diseases. Children are the most vulnerable section of the population.