What do we mean by 'significant harm' in relation to climate? Where are the main threats to children right now? What is their impact? Global threats - as outlined in the report by Unicef (2022), those who are most vulnerable to the worst impacts of the climate crisis are children. Over half of the world’s 2.2 billion children are in areas that are facing the most severe effects.
‘Children bear the greatest burden of climate change. Not only are they more vulnerable than adults to the extreme weather, toxic hazards and diseases it causes, but the planet is becoming a more dangerous place to live.’
The role of CCPAST is to use the UK legal frameworks to push for climate aware policy and action that places the rights and needs of children first. We act in solidarity with children and those who protect them around the globe.
You are not asked to solve these global threats, and at CCPAST this is not what we offer. The focus is a child's family, home and community. What can be done in your children's community to mitigate these threats and adapt to what science is telling us they will be exposed to?
Right now, the literature is identifying the following areas of risks and harms to children in the UK:
We have created a library for anyone seeking more information to explore the impact of climate change for children specifically, or to add to your safeguarding referral.
The nature of the information shared may be quite challenging for those reading for the first time . We are sharing this to inform and empower, and not to shock which can disempower and prevent action.
Remember our child protection framework brings all safeguarders together into one room to develop and enact a plan. You are not tasked with protecting the child alone, and your task is not to fix the world, but the child's community. That is where our child protection structures have power.
The facts are needed to inform this process.
It can be empowering to envision what a healthy and safe community looks like for our children. This is something we can grasp and a way that we have agency.