INDEPENDENT NEWS

Concens about harmful impact of climate change on children

Published: Fri 14 Oct 2016 12:44 PM
MEDIA RELEASE
14 October 2016
UN experts urge New Zealand to protect children’s rights from climate change
This week is World Climate Week. In the same United Nations Committee report damning New Zealand’s inaction on child poverty, the committee has also expressed its concern about the harmful impact of climate change on New Zealand children, especially Maori and Pacific children and children living in low-income families.
OraTaiao, the New Zealand Climate and Health Council, welcomes the report from the UN experts. Dr Rhys Jones, Co-Convenor of OraTaiao, says the UN recommendations are sensible and important.
The UN experts urged the New Zealand Government to use health impact assessments – including child health impact assessments – to inform climate-relevant policies and laws.
They also advised the Government to make sure it looks at the needs of children and listens to children’s views as it addresses climate change, and to especially consider children most affected by climate change.
“As health professionals, we know children are especially vulnerable to climate change. For example climate change brings about more childhood infections and respiratory illness. We also know that climate change will make existing vulnerabilities like child poverty much worse,” says Dr Jones.
“Maori and Pacific children have a higher burden of climate-sensitive illnesses and poorer access to health care. Climate policy in New Zealand needs to do a great deal more to protect children. The disproportionately high number of Maori and Pacific families living on low incomes means that the effects of climate change on food security, housing and infrastructure will be more difficult to prepare for and recover from. This will result in serious impacts on children’s health.”
Dr Jones also says we know what is required to protect and create healthy environments for children.
“Investing in housing insulation, better diets, clean energy, great public transport and safer walking and cycle-ways all have double benefits. They give immediate health benefits, especially for children and disadvantaged families, and also bring down greenhouse gas emissions.”
ENDS
OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council comprises health professionals concerned about climate change as a serious public health threat. The Council also promotes the positive health gains that can be achieved through action to address climate change. OraTaiao has written reports to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about the impact of climate change, including the impact on the rights of New Zealand children. See: www.orataiao.org.nz
Recommendations from UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to New Zealandhttp://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CRC/Shared Documents/NZL/INT_CRC_COC_NZL_25459_E.pdf
Children’s rights and climate change in Aotearoa New Zealand: Report from OraTaiao for UN Committee on the Rights of the Child http://www.acya.org.nz/uncroc-documents.html

Next in New Zealand politics

Govt Moves On Drug Checking To Keep Young New Zealanders Safer This Summer
By: New Zealand Government
13 Parties Charged By WorkSafe New Zealand Over Whakaari/White Island Tragedy
By: WorkSafe NZ
Progress On Pay Equity For DHB Staff
By: New Zealand Government
Stuff Holds Itself Accountable For Wrongs To Māori
By: Stuff
New Zealand Government To Declare A Climate Emergency
By: New Zealand Government
Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management
By: New Zealand Government
ACT Supports Pill Testing Bill
By: ACT New Zealand
Legal Drug Checking This Festival Season Will Help Protect Our Young People: Green Party
By: Green Party
Timely Decision On Festival Drug Checking Will Save Lives
By: NZ Drug Foundation
Whakaari / White Island Eruption 22nd Death
By: New Zealand Police
Health Minister Priorities Welcomed
By: Association of Salaried Medical Specialists
More Accessible Pay Equity Measures Come Into Force
By: New Zealand Government
Māori Language Commission Welcomes Stuff Announcement
By: Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori
Climate Change An Economic Issue; Critical For The Planet’s Future
By: Make Lemonade
Climate Emergency Declaration A Win But Needs Action
By: Greenpeace New Zealand
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media