A NEW study published in the journals The Lancet and Child Abuse and Neglect co-authored by the World Council of Churches (WCC) highlights the alarming impact of climate change on the health and wellbeing of children.

“This study underscores the urgent need to recognise that inadequate responses to the climate emergency pose a profound ethical concern affecting every aspect of the rights, physical and emotional wellbeing of children”, said Frederique Seidel, WCC senior advisor on child rights. “As people of faith, we are called to tackle the root causes of the climate emergency, as an urgent measure for protecting children from the dire consequences of a warming world.”

Drawing from various sources, the research describes the impacts of the climate crisis as a form of structural violence against children. It highlights an urgency to revise definitions, research agendas, policy actions, and legal frameworks to adequately address the physical and psychological consequences of global warming on children.

“The study’s message is clear: Besides a radical decrease in emissions of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, there is an urgent need for recognition that climate destruction is a trigger of violence against children and against future generations”, said Seidel.

In the meantime, WCC and partners made available a guide for asset owners, addressing such violence against children by verifying their own banks and pension funds are not accelerating global warming through the financing of fossil fuel expansion. The guide is entitled “Save Children’s Lives: Climate-Responsible Banking Survival Guide.”

* More information about the study here.

* Read Climate-Responsible Finance – a Moral Imperative towards Children here.

* Source: World Council of Churches