Generation Hope

2.4 billion reasons to end the global climate and inequality crisis
Lisa Wise | Save the Children | 2022
Generation Hope

Climate change is commonly described by policy‑makers, business leaders and media as the greatest threat to the future. But when Save the Children recently undertook our biggest‑ever dialogue with more than 54,500 children from 41 countries on issues of climate change and inequality, they left us in no doubt that the climate threat isn’t about tomorrow. For the world’s 2.4 billion children, the climate crisis is a global emergency today. In higher and lower income countries, children are experiencing and observing changes in weather patterns, like successive years of drought, and a rise in extreme weather events like flooding and cyclones. One 15-year-old girl in Colombia summed it up powerfully: “Climate change is like a monster that destroys us. There are storms, hurricanes, it’s very hot, there’s a lot of rain. We are not taking care of the planet; we are filling it with garbage.”

Our dialogues with children confirmed that the climate emergency and issues of inequality are deeply connected, and cannot be dealt with in isolation from each other. Across the world, inequalities are deepening the emergency and its impacts on children, most notably across two key dimensions. The first dimension of inequality is age. The climate emergency is a children’s rights crisis. (...)

The second dimension of inequality is in income, wealth and power. Children in our dialogues observed that communities and households most affected by poverty, inequality and discrimination have the least protection and, when disaster hits, have less to spend on recovery. (...)