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“The fundamental goal of the adults in any society is to protect their young and do everything they can to leave a better world than the one they inherited. The current generation of adults, and those that came before, are failing at a global scale.” — Greta Thunberg (and co-authors from Mexico, Bangladesh and Kenya) in NYT opinion piece

Dear Adults: You Are Failing Us On A Global Scale, Below2C

We Are Failing The Kids

I am convinced with every fibre of my being that the current generation of adults will fall far short of achieving the near impossible task of slowing the pace of global warming. We’ve known for decades that we had to reverse the growth of carbon-emitting fossil fuels and yet no country has come up with a fossil fuel phase-out plan. In fact, the world continues to subsidize the expansion of fossil fuels at an alarming rate. We are failing our kids and our grandkids.

In spite of early promises of building back better following the pandemic, most countries have squandered yet another opportunity to transition away from fossil fuels and invest in a green future. The 50 largest economies have pledged close to $15 trillion for post-pandemic recovery but less than 20% of investments are going to green initiatives according to the Are We Building Back Better? report by Oxford University’s Global Recovery Observatory. “Only one country—Turkey—has plans for a 100% green recovery spending.

More on Canada adults failing our kids
Mr. Wilkinson: You Can’t Be Canada’s Climate Minister and Promote Fossil Fuels

The Oxford analysis reveals that just one of every $40 committed by governments to bounce back from the coronavirus crisis will deliver a positive impact for the planet. Policymakers are missing out on the “greatest chance we have had so far to halt the upward trajectory of global greenhouse gas emissions and put the world on track for meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals,” reports GreenBiz.

The Climate Crisis is a Child Right Crisis

The UNICEF report was launched in collaboration with Fridays for Future on the third anniversary of the Thunberg-led global climate strike movement.

Greta and young people call for climate action I UNICEF
Aug 19, 2021

The Climate Crisis is a Child Rights Crisis report paints a “complete picture of where and how children are vulnerable to climate change, and that picture is almost unimaginably dire.” The report introduces the concept of the Children’s Climate Risk Index.

Virtually no child’s life will be unaffected,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF’s executive director. “Almost half the world’s 2.2 billion children are already at “extremely high risk” from the impacts of the climate crisis and pollution,” reports The Guardian

The Children’s Climate Risk Index (CCRI) reveals:

  • 240 million children are highly exposed to coastal flooding;
  • 330 million children are highly exposed to riverine flooding;
  • 400 million children are highly exposed to cyclones;
  • 600 million children are highly exposed to vector borne diseases;
  • 815 million children are highly exposed to lead pollution;
  • 820 million children are highly exposed to heatwaves;
  • 920 million children are highly exposed to water scarcity;
  • 1 billion children are are highly exposed to exceedingly high levels of air pollution[1]

Young people like us have been sounding this alarm for years. You just haven’t listened..We will not allow the world to look away. — Greta Thunberg

“For children and young people, climate change is the single greatest threat to our futures. We are the ones who will have to clean up the mess you adults have made, and we are the ones who are more likely to suffer now,” says Greta Thunberg.

And so the story of how we adults are failing our kids continues to be written. When green pledges and green commitments collide with business as usual, climate is always second to the economic recovery or fossil fuels or job creation.

“The human tragedy is that there is no connection between what we know and what we do,” says George Monbiot in his recent opinion piece in The Guardian.

In Canada – adults failing our kids
Climate Crisis at Our Doorstep: Call for Bold and Ambitious Action
Canada: A Model of Climate Denial in Action
Canada: Climate Change and the Muddled “Moveable Middle”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.Creative Commons License

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