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At the Intersection of Early Childhood and Climate Change

Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people, to give them hope, but I don’t want your hope...I want you to panic…I want you to act.
Greta Thunberg, Swedish Youth Climate Activist

“Policies and programs focused on early childhood development provide a cost-effective, comprehensive, immediate, and enduring path to achieving climate resilience, climate adaptation, and the sustainable development agenda,” according to Adrián Cerezo, Senior Fellow at Capita, a think-tank focused on children and families. Such thinking brings early childhood practitioners squarely into a global response to climate change, including, but going beyond preparing today’s children to be tomorrow’s environmentalists.

"Caring for our children and caring for our planet are inextricably linked. However, connections between the two areas are rarely present in policy or practice," 
according to Capita, "Healthy resilient children and families are the foundation of healthy, resilient communities. Ensuring child-centered action on climate change will create cleaner air and water, more green space and shade, healthier buildings, communities better prepared for extreme weather events, and more. All the benefits ripple out far beyond the individual child and family."

The impact is bi-directional. “Promoting safe, stable, and nurturing relationships in the early years of human development, fostering community and systems-level resilience, and building strong social connections around families with young children will be key to promoting human flourishing in the climate era.”

Capita co-founder Joe Waters will share his insights from the COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai late last in the 
World Forum Global Café on January 31. A follow-up conversation will take place on February 14, with many of the 2024 World Forum presenters focused on the intersection of climate change and early childhood joining us. Both events are free. Registration required.

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