Children and climate crisis

Meaningful channels for participation

Sir, – The world is focusing on COP28 and pleading for more ambitious climate action (“The Irish Times view on Cop28: distracted politicians need to find a way forward”, November 26th). As we spiral away from the Paris climate agreement goal of limiting the temperature increase to 1.5 Celsius above pre-industrial levels, we see children impacted more than anyone.

Their inalienable rights to safety, water, food, shelter and education are being fundamentally undermined by the impacts of climate change.

At World Vision Ireland, we think it imperative that children and young people’s right to participate, which is enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), is upheld.

We see children as agents of change and, as those who will directly inherit the planet and who currently make up 33 per cent of the global population, it is vital that there are appropriate avenues for them to engage in climate discussions.


Beyond that, have their opinions heard, listened to and acted upon.

We applaud those children and young people who have become climate activists and are directly responsible for the increased attention they have received by media and politicians. But structural and meaningful channels for participation in environmental decision-making must be a priority for governments.

We welcome the Irish Government’s leadership in this area – facilitating participation in their delegation at COP28 for three children who are actively engaged in climate discussions in their communities: Edward (13) from Tanzania; Selestina (16) from Malawi; and Nomin (17) from Mongolia.

We must use this opportunity to empower girls and boys to meaningfully participate in local, national and global climate change discussions and decision-making processes, and listen to what they have to say. – Yours, etc,



World Vision Ireland,

Dublin 6.