Dr Nick Hall of Plan International took us back to our schooldays, at the community-based adaptation conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh, today.

“Turn off your mobile phones, and no text messaging in class,” he instructed.

Fortunately, in his case, treating us like children equates with treating us with respect: “We pride ourselves on listening to children,” he said.

He taught us that:

  • 9 million children die before their fifth birthday – and this figure will get worse because of climate change
  • Children make up more than 50 per cent of the global population
  • Every year, already, at least 500,000 children are displaced from school by flooding
  • 85 per cent of the global disease burden is borne by children
  • The world’s poorest children are on the frontline of climate change, so involving children must be a priority of adaptation to climate change
  • Every year of education is likely to increase family income by 10 per cent
  • Every $1 spent on adaptation and prevention can save $7.

His final lesson:

  • Get young people involved an climate change adaptation and you’ve got scale-up for the next generation.

Ok, class, you can leave now.


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