Only 2.4 percent of key global climate funds can be classified as supporting child-responsive activities, a new report by Children’s Environmental Rights Initiative (CERI) coalition; Plan International, Save the Children, and UNICEF.
They said children are being failed by climate funding commitments, despite bearing the brunt of the climate crisis.
They argued that every child is exposed to at least one – and often multiple – climate hazards. The finance and investment that are desperately needed to adapt critical social services like health and water to climate hazards are insufficient and largely blind to the urgent and unique needs of children.
Children are disproportionately vulnerable to water and food scarcity, water-borne diseases, and physical and psychological trauma, all of which have been linked to both extreme weather events and slow-onset climate effects.
There is also evidence that changing weather patterns are disrupting children’s access to basic services such as education, healthcare, and clean drinking water.
According to UNICEF’s Children’s Climate Risk Index, more than a billion children are at extremely high risk of the impacts of the climate crisis.
The study, Falling short: addressing the climate finance gap for children used a set of three criteria to assess if climate finance from key multilateral climate funds (MCFs) serving the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement were: addressing the distinct and heightened risks they experience from the climate crisis, strengthening the resilience of child-critical social services and empowering children as agents of change.
The report found that out of all the money given by MCFs for climate-related projects over a period of 17 years until March 2023, only a small portion of 2.4 percent met all three of the requirements which amounted to only $1.2 billion. The report also says that this number likely reflects an overestimate, meaning that even less money may have met all the requirements.
Further, the report highlights that when it comes to children, they are often viewed as a vulnerable group rather than being recognized as active stakeholders or agents of change. Less than 4 percent of projects, amounting to just 7 percent of MCF investment or $2.58 billion, give explicit and meaningful consideration to the needs and involvement of girls.