A side event conducted by the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) during the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, warned about the hazards of the climate change that besiege today's youth.
At the event, titled ‘Building adolescents’ resilience to climate change', delegates were informed of the risks posed by climate change to the health of adolescents.
"Almost all of the current generation of 1.2 billion adolescents aged 10-19 are exposed to at least one climate and environmental hazard, shock or stress - heatwaves, cyclones, air pollution, flooding and water scarcity. Failure to avert a global rise in temperature of just 1.5°C will put their health and prospects for survival at extreme risk," a press release issued by the PMNCH noted.
Climate Change More Likely To Affect Children From Vulnerable Communities: PMNCH Board Chair
Event speakers also emphasised that countries most vulnerable to climate change are often those in which there is a fragile humanitarian setting.
“Climate change is a huge threat to adolescents’ well-being and safety, especially those from already vulnerable communities,” said Helen Clark, PMNCH board chair and former prime minister of New Zealand.
“Extreme weather events increase the likelihood of forced migration and displacement, reduce access to good nutrition, education and employment, and severely affect physical and psychological health."PMNCH Board Chair Helen Clark
“At COP26 world leaders must step up their efforts to address the crisis, with sufficient commitment and resources. This includes engaging meaningfully with adolescents and youth in policy - and decision-making on climate resilient low carbon health system," Clark further stated.
The event aimed to draw attention to the importance of incorporating adolescent well-being into the COP26 health Programme, and in national climate adaptation policies and programmes.
PMNCH's Three-Point Plan To Empower Youth To Drive the Changes That Impact Them
"To ensure adolescents and youth are driving the changes that impact on them, PMNCH has been galvanizing global support for its Call to Action for Adolescents, which has been co-created by young people with support from UN agencies and governments, and aims to ensure a holistic, multi-sectoral approach to adolescent well-being," the press release issued by PMNCH said.
The call for action has three priority areas:
Engaging and empowering adolescents
Mobilising beyond the health sector to launch a powerful multisectoral response
Strengthening political commitment and funding through a focus on adolescents in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) review at the forthcoming UN SDG Summit in 2023.