COP27: Conflict-Affected Children Vulnerable to Climate-Induced Shocks, Threatening Resilience and Right to Safe Environment

Climate Change

New York, 4 November 2022 - From 6-18 November, the 27th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP27) will take place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, where solutions to tackle the global challenge of climate crisis will be discussed. The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, stresses the undeniable and long-lasting impact of climate crisis on conflict-affected children.  

The Special Representative calls for urgent action at all levels on climate security and highlights the compounded vulnerability of children affected by climate change and armed conflict. Evidence shows that climate-induced shocks increase children’s risk of facing grave violations due to displacement, famine, and increased violence.  

“Everyone, but especially children, have the right to a safe, clean, and healthy environment. Not only do conflict-affected children face life-threatening security challenges, but they are also at the front lines of the climate crisis and bear the brunt of the lack of global and national action that the urgency of the situation demands,” said Virginia Gamba.  

Although climate change is not the sole driver of conflict, it can multiply risks that contribute to insecurity and governance crises and make vulnerable communities susceptible to increased violence as a result. In fact, evidence shows that countries that are most vulnerable to climate change are often among the most vulnerable to conflict and fragility.