Berlin, 18 July 2021 - The devastating floods in Germany, which have killed dozens of people and caused widespread devastation, must be a wake-up call to politicians across Europe and worldwide, Save the Children said today, as the climate crisis puts children’s futures at stake for decades to come.
Today's children and future generations will be the main victims of the climate crisis, even though they contribute the least to continued global warming. At least 710 million children live on the frontline of the climate crisis, and nearly 160 million children are currently at risk of severe drought.
Save the Children emphasizes that the climate crisis is a child rights crisis, as increasingly erratic weather events such as droughts, heat waves, fires and floods threaten children's rights to food, health, protection and education.
The organisation is urging world leaders to put children at the heart of climate discussions during the COP26 summit in Glasgow later this year – it wants to see not only their futures but also the opinions of children themselves put centre stage during the critical talks.
Martina Dase of Save the Children Germany said:
"Our hearts go out to the family and friends of all victims in Germany and other parts of Europe. These floods took Germany by surprise, and we must see them as a clear sign that the future is now. There is no safe place anymore for children and their families when it comes to the climate crisis. Imagine where we will be in 10, 20 years. We call on the German government and business leaders, the leaders of Europe and across the world to immediately and consistently ensure that ambitious climate policies are child-friendly. We owe this to the children. Their future is at stake."