A Save the Children recent research said children born now are going to suffer 4.9 times more severe heatwaves, 2.3 times more river floods, 1.2 times more droughts, and 1.5 times more crop losses than their grandparents or those born 60 years ago. 

Save the Children Philippines believes that the government must take immediate action to help children in adapting to a climate-changed environment, protect children’s well-being from the impacts of climate devastation, and prioritize them and vulnerable communities on the government agenda, finances, and resources.

Rex Abrigo, Save the Children Philippines’ Environmental Health Advisor, stresses the urgency: “The effects of climate change exacerbate existing disparities and disproportionately harm underprivileged populations. We call for enhanced accountability from governments, corporations, and international organizations to protect children’s rights.”

Through its Generation Hope campaign, the leading child rights organization is stepping up its efforts to make sure that the Climate Accountability (Clima) Bill is passed and that policies and services that are child-friendly are included.

The Climate Accountability Bill will hold those responsible for degradation of the environment accountable and allocate resources to mitigate the effects of climate change. Save the Children Philippines highlights the importance of mitigating climate change-related loss and damage, as well as providing support to vulnerable communities, especially children.

Fifteen-year-old Carla from Navotas City shares her firsthand experience: “Before, I used to walk home to save on fare, but now I can’t because of the heat. Commuting is difficult, the sidewalks are narrow, and it’s so hot! Inequality exacerbates climate change’s impact. Big countries and companies contribute to rising temperatures, leaving us poor folks struggling the most. They need to be accountable.”

The organization’s children and youth campaigners also participated in Earth Hour 2024, along with millions of people worldwide, to raise awareness regarding the issue and advocate children’s rights as equal partners and change agents in addressing climate and environmental challenges.

Just last week, the Philippines experienced severe heatwaves that led to cancellation of in-person classes of nearly 4,000 schools nationwide.  The Philippine weather said that high heat index from 42 to 45 degrees Celsius is dangerous to health and can lead to heat-related illnesses.

Filipino students bear the brunt of the scorching heatwaves. Their classrooms are not heatwave-proof, and their class schedules have been altered, disrupting their studies for the entire year. Heatwaves also have an impact on children’s physical and mental health, impairing their ability to concentrate or focus in school. Others caught coughs and colds and may not be able to rehydrate as regularly as they would want due to limited school baon.

On the global front, climate change has been raising global temperatures and causing unprecedented heatwaves, with more countries experiencing hotter days more frequently. Climate change and poverty threaten one-third of the world’s children, or 774 million, simultaneously.