Hans-Otto Pörtner IPCC
CCPAST is the Climate Child Protection and Safeguarding Team. We are a group of professionals working in Child Protection and Safeguarding who are concerned that children are suffering significant harm due to the unfolding Climate Emergency. This harm is based in chronic neglect of their physical and emotional needs and is now causing, and at risk of causing, significant physical and emotional harm.
Our focus is the needs of the child. We uphold the principles held within the child protection framework of working together in an evidence-based way to prioritise the welfare of the child.
We are concerned that the harm being done to children in the face of the Climate and Ecological Emergency has not yet been effectively centred in our response. When we face the reality of the climate crisis for our planet, we feel grief and helplessness. When we look at it through our children's eyes we feel the distress and fear of knowing what they face. Our child protection legal framework is strong and effective, it centres children's needs and develops proactive plans to meet those needs. But it has not yet been applied to the greatest threat to children in history. We aim to support safeguarders in communities across the UK to use the tools we have available to act protectively.
Child protection and safeguarding is based in communities - it places duties on parents, safeguarders and the local authority. It asks us to look at the child's world and act protectively, centring children's welfare in our decision making. It provides a legal duty, and a structure and process to do this collaboratively. It provides us what we need to build resilient communities that mitigate harms where possible and adapt where needed. We aim to support the application of child protection framing to the climate and ecological emergency so that planning and decision making effectively meets their needs.
This will be supported by a website providing guidance and resources, workshops to develop an understanding of the child protection framework and how it applies to climate risks and harms, and advocacy for the centring of children's needs.
CCPAST provides structured support for safeguarders to access climate research as it relates to children, and guidance in employing the Children Act to ensure the rights and needs of the child are centred in decisions that may pose a risk of significant harm.
Responsible adults are asked to consider their communities from the perspective of children's needs, and advocate for these by seeking to instigate the collaborative processes held by the child protection system to take positive action to meet these needs. This website, and future workshops can support you to take these steps. Please sign up to our mailing list to keep up-to-date.