Today UNICEF UK launches Carbon Positive, a new climate change initiative that helps individuals and businesses take responsibility for the size of their carbon footprint and invest in adaptation projects which help children around the world to thrive amidst the devastating environmental changes they face.
This unique approach to tackling climate change helps businesses, organisations and individuals go further than being carbon neutral. It encourages them to make the link between their own actions and the affect it is already having on children living in vulnerable communities around the world and to take action to help those communities respond effectively to the change.
In 2008, UNICEF UK was one of the first organisations to highlight how children in the developing world were already suffering from the impact of climate change. The flagship report – ‘Our climate, Our children, Our responsibility’– highlights how children, the most vulnerable members of their communities, are being affected first and most severely by the impacts of environmental change.
Carbon Positive invites interested individuals and businesses to calculate their carbon footprint using a newly developed online calculator – powered by AMEE – which takes into account the main areas of carbon usage, including flights, their commute to and from work and the home. UNICEF suggests an investment of £10 per tonnage of carbon*.
Users then have the opportunity to view a range of areas where UNICEF works to combat the affects of climate change – for example in disaster risk reduction, water, education, health and nutrition – and then select which adaption project they would like to invest in. **
As well as being able to learn about their carbon footprint and decide on a life-saving investment, Carbon Positive also offers users tips and advice on how to reduce their carbon emissions and become more climate positive.
Commenting on the new initiative UNICEF UK Executive Director David Bull said: “It’s indisputable that climate change is already having a devastating affect on children’s lives, preventing them from fulfilling their right to a safe and happy childhood. I am hugely excited that we are able to offer the public a new way to take responsibility for their contribution to our changing planet and help invest in a positive future for the world’s children.
“The more of us who become Carbon Positive, the more we can make a difference. If we can help children become stronger and more resilient to climate change, we really can help them to survive. We all have a duty to help try to put this wrong right. Please help us to do so, be Carbon Positive today.”
Gavin Starks, founder and CEO of AMEE, added: “Climate change and its impact on our children’s welfare are everyone’s responsibility. We are delighted to be supporting UNICEF’s Carbon Positive initiative, and its mission to make a measured difference.”
To become Carbon Positive or find out more about the new initiative, go to www.unicef.org.uk/carbonpositive
Examples of adaptation projects:
A UNICEF adaptation programme in Bangladesh will help communities (340,000 people in three districts) adapt their homes, schools and communities so they become more resilient against the changing climate and the increased risk of cyclones, floods, droughts, and rising sea level.
The provision of rainwater harvesting in three of the most drought prone districts in Mozambique, will help improve sanitation facilities and access to clean, safe drinking water in schools. It could mean children – particularly girls – are not prevented from realising their right to an education because there is no water and sanitation facilities are in such a poor condition.
A UNICEF project in Burundi will help communities and children at risk of malnutrition as a result of climate change, by providing therapeutic feeding products for severely malnourished children and setting up feeding centres. It will also help educate and prepare communities for the uncertainty in food supply due to climate change.
To find out more information on UNICEF UK’s work to help tackle climate change and help protect the worlds most vulnerable children, please visit: www.unicef.org.uk/climatechange
*At UNICEF UK we acknowledge that there is no official price of adaptation linked to carbon tonnage so we have drawn on our experience at UNICEF UK to provide a suggested investment amount of £10 per Carbon Tonne. This reflects the cost for delivering our projects for children in those areas, balanced with how much we believe is an affordable price for people who are looking for a credible response to climate change. The investment calculated is a ‘suggested donation’ and we encourage individuals using Carbon Positive to donate whatever they can to help us help children to overcome the challenges they face.
** UNICEF is a member of a consortium of climate and development organisations and experts developing a standard and certification scheme for excellence in adaptation, called AdMit.
AMEE’s comprehensive web-services enable anyone to understand, calculate and share their carbon footprint. AMEE operates the world’s only search engine designed for Carbon standards, covering international, public and proprietary methodologies. The AMEE API provides access to the most up-to-date carbon and environmental information.