GENEVA, 10 November 2021 – The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is pleased to support UNICEF in underlining the vital role that business has to play in addressing the devastating impacts of climate change on children’s well-being by becoming a signatory of the Business Statement on Children and Climate Change.
This statement, signed by a number of business leaders, acknowledges that child rights and the environment are interconnected, and that businesses needs to be a critical part of the solution to address and mitigate the negative consequences of climate change in children’s lives globally.
“We know that no one is spared from the effects of climate change, no matter where we are in the world. Children, especially those who live in the poorest communities, bear the brunt of these adverse impacts and we cannot let this continue,” said Carla Haddad Mardini, UNICEF’s Director of Private Sector Partnerships. “We are calling on captains of industry to work with us in co-creating solutions towards a green economy without delay, so that our children and future generations can inherit a liveable planet,” she added.
UNICEF estimates that almost every child on earth is now exposed to at least one climate and environmental shock and stress, with approximately 1 billion children living in 33 countries at “extreme high risk” from the impacts of climate change. UNICEF also warns that one in four deaths in children under five are attributable to unhealthy environments. These hazards will increase in severity as the impacts of climate change accelerate.
Aside from committing to set ambitious emissions reduction targets, shifting to renewable energy sources, and adopting other environmentally friendly business practices, businesses who sign up to the statement of commitment are calling on governments to provide urgent climate action funding and fulfil their commitments to the Paris Agreement with an end goal to reach ‘net zero’ emissions by 2050.
The business statement was issued during the International Chamber of Commerce’s Make Climate Action Everyone’s Business Forum on 9 November as part of COP26.