The Climate Crisis

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Climate change is here. It doesn’t discriminate and it doesn’t do borders. The world is in a state of emergency with over 1 billion children at risk of more frequent and destructive climate hazards – cyclones, disease, flooding, heatwaves and droughts. 

We all believe that a liveable planet for kids isn’t just a luxury, it’s a right. This means addressing the causes of the climate crisis by switching to other forms of renewable energy, coupled with a rapid reduction in emissions - in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement.

To make sure rangitahi around the world are protected from the unfolding climate crisis right now, UNICEF has been working for years to implement innovative adaption and mitigation programmes.

  • 5.4


    people were given access to climate- resilient water systems in 2022

  • 1


    children are at risk of climate destructive emergencies

  • 90


    of the world’s disasters today are climate related

The Climate Crisis
Is a Child Rights Crisis

It robs children of their ability to grow up happy and healthy and it undermines nearly every right of a child as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  

It’s the kids of today that lose out. A child that can’t go to school due to an earthquake or flood, misses out on the opportunity to learn. A child that can’t get access to safe and clean water, because of a drought, is victim to illnesses and disease. It’s a future that’s potentially lost. But it doesn’t have to be.  

Top: A young girl stands surrounded by a house that has been burnt down from a natural disaster. Bottom: young boys walk through smoke during the wreckage of a natural disaster.


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Children collect water from a UNICEF supported tap, located in the heart of their village in Badghis Province, Afghanistan.


Worldwide we’re harnessing innovative technology and fresh thinking to:

Source renewable water.

Strengthen communities with access to multi-purpose solar power technology helping them grow nutritious crops and provide sustainable energy for health care and education centres.

Designing climate resilient systems that provide fast, effective support for when a disaster strikes.

Ultimately, we’re building climate sustainable communities that are thriving. But our hard mahi isn’t just focused overseas! At home we’re advocating and lobbying our governments to create systemic change for every child in Aotearoa. 

UNICEF's Young Ambassadors in Parliament.

Climate action-
from Cape Reinga to Bluff

UNICEF is working on creating systemic change to protect and help represent rangitahi across all of Aotearoa. We’re kicking climate change to the curb, by implementing climate action as one of the three key priority areas in the UNICEF Aotearoa Domestic Advocacy Strategy 2023-2028.

By continuing to elevate youth voices, we’re keeping our finger on the pulse. In 2023, the UNICEF Aotearoa Young Ambassadors embarked on a national kōrero to hear directly from rangatahi across the motu. We identified the most pressing challenges and compiled the Rangatahi Pulse Check brochure to engage politicians and decision-makers about what young people are saying is important to them about climate action.  

The YA's will also play a significant role in advocating for change in November. There is no better global platform for their voices to be heard on the climate discussion, than the United Nations Climate Conference (COP28) in Dubai. They'll get a front row seat to climate forums, where they'll be connecting and sharing ideas with other policy makers and experts on the Sustainable Development Goal 13 - Climate Action.  

Left: A young girl collecting water from the bottom of a well. Right: A young boy sitting in the aftermath of a natural disaster, surrounded by fallen trees and remnants of homes.


Do you want to make history? Right now we have petition that every Kiwi should sign.

Take Action Now!

We want to see a commitment from the government to take urgent climate action and put in place mitigation measures to protect children’s rights and their futures. ​ 

By signing UNICEF’s petition we’re calling for the government’s first 100 days plan to:

Declare the climate crisis a children’s emergency in Parliament.

Commit to signing the international Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action and implementing the actions within.

Fund a children and young people’s climate advisory committee as a formal means of actively involving diverse young voices in national climate change planning processes and policies.

To help our goal of making sure that 1 billion children and their communities are living in a climate-safe world, please sign the petition here.

I am The Climate Crisis, This is a children's emergency. Sign the petition to protect kids.

Remember, petitions are an important first step to bring about change. You might not believe that they hold any power of influence, but history tells a different story.

Stable force in
an unstable climate

The planet is in a state of emergency right now and we’re ready to act! No flood, no drought, no earthquake, nothing can stop us. We’ve been responding to over 300 emergencies every year with a staggering 90% of the world’s disasters today being climate related.

UNICEF is always one step ahead because you never know when a climate crisis will hit. They’re not one-time shocks; their impact can last for years. In 2022, UNICEF donors helped us respond to a total of 442 humanitarian crisis across 128 countries. By having a presence in 192 countries we’re able to be there at a moment’s notice. Our speedy supply and logistics team, work around the clock to send pre-packed kits and life- saving supplies in just 48 hours.

Because we’ve been on the ground in Libya since 1957, we could urgently mobilised vital supplies when Storm Daniel hit in September 2023. In 2022 it was no different. We were there to support the catastrophic flooding in Pakistan, and provided food and healthcare for the kids in Horn of Africa dealing with a once in a generation malnutrition crisis caused by years of devastating droughts.

8-year-old Sameer keeps himself warm with the help of a jacket and blanket provided by UNICEF in Zangi Brohi Village, Dadu District, Sindh.


A UNICEF truck crossing a river.


Our work doesn’t stop at delivery. We also help build long lasting systems to help vulnerable kids and their families. Like our Scaling up Nutrition programme in Zambia where females are growing their skills in sustainable farming and using the land to produce local crops to help combat hunger in their community.    

Women's Farming cooperative in Chikando Chipata where members farm fish, sunflowers and maize.


A girl drinking water at the playground of her school, in Goré, in the South of Chad.


Roadmap to building a
strong eco foundation

Water is a vital source of life. However, there are still 1.42 billion people living in areas of high or extremely high water-vulnerability. To combat this, we’re harnessing a truly high-tech data-driven technology, the More Water More Life Project.

This project uses satellite imagery to find ground water before drilling in dry and harsh terrain throughout sub-Saharan and Southern Africa. Saving time, and money. It’s a match made in heaven. This innovative new technology has seen drilling success rates nearly double in Ethiopia, increasing from 50% to 92%. Having access to clean water means flourishing crops, growing livestock and thriving health for 1.2 million people including 740,000 children.  

Decorative Yellow round scribble on top left

Shining Solar Solutions

Keziah Vatoko (7 yrs) who is in class 3 at École Publique Centre Ville is excited to open her UNICEF backpack.


Blue sky thinking in the Pacific

UNICEF has launched the world's first climate-change financing solution that’ll protect more than 13.5 million children and families. This revolutionary new fund is all about strengthening all our systems today to reduce the impact of a weather event, while insuring for what may happen tomorrow.  


The Today Tomorrow Fund is not just adapting our programmes to climate change - it’s also changing how they’re funded. For the first time, we can now insure kids against the impact of a severe weather event. The pay-out is immediate because it’s based on wind speed, rain and the child population in the area. This means we can provide faster availability of funds, speed up our disaster response and be there when kids need us most. Like seven year old Keziah, who is happy to be back at school and to be able to open her new UNICEF backpack at the École Publique Centre Ville after Cyclone Judy and Kevin hit Vanuatu.


This initial 3 year trial is spread across 8 countries where children are most impacted and vulnerable in the world. Three of these countries happen to be in the Pacific - Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands – so we’ll be able to see the positive impact it’ll have on kids, right here in our neighbourhood.

A boy walking across a piece of land surrounded by water.


This is only the beginning. Let’s not slow down the momentum for climate action!

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