Climate change to kill a quarter million children

Launching a new report, "Feeling the Heat - Child Survival in a Changing Climate", at the UN Climate Change talks in Barcelona Wednesday, Save the Children predicted that 175 million children a year will be hit as natural disasters will increase over the next decade.
According to the report, climate change will more than treble the number of people caught up in natural disasters in the next 20 years. Natural disasters will also become more frequent and severe due to climate change.

“Disasters such as floods, cyclones and droughts will hit children hardest as they get worse with climate change. These disasters will combine with an increase in malnutrition and disease, already the biggest killers of children,” CEO of Save the Children Thomas Chandy said.

The report warned that climate change will exacerbate the leading causes of death of children, including malnutrition and malaria.
“Nearly two million children die every year in India before their fifth birthdays from simple causes like diarrhoea and pneumonia. Climate change will make these threats worse.”
Diarrhoea, the killer of one million children every year, is set to increase by as much as 10 percent by 2020 due to climate change. Malnutrition, which today affects 178 million children and causes 3.2 million child deaths each year, will affect 25 million more children by 2050.

And malaria, responsible for one million child deaths per year, will affect up to 320 million more people by 2080.

The organisation also called on world leaders to sign an ambitious climate change agreement at the Copenhagen summit in December to help the world’s poorest children cope with the effects of global warming
“Children in developing countries are not responsible for climate change. Yet, they are the hardest hit by it. It is the responsibility of rich nations that have been emitting greenhouse gases for centuries to help poor communities in developing nations to adapt to the effects of climate change,” Chandy said.

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