'A footprint means pressing down and global means world, so 'global footprint' means pressing down on the world and we don't want to press too hard' (child's definition of a Global Footprint)
what is Global Learning? CoreKnowledge Key Skills Values and Attitudes what is sustainability? what about climate change?
what about climate change?

Climate change and MDG

There is a clear link between climate change and human rights. The right to life itself can be denied in the immediate aftermath of an extreme weather event such as a hurricane. More extreme storms are predicted as a result of climate change.

People’s right to food may also be affected. Food production is likely to decline because of increased temperatures, changes in rainfall patterns, soil erosion, desertification and rising sea levels which will make coastal land unusable for growing crops.

As the earth gets warmer, heat waves and water shortages will make it difficult to access safe drinking water and sanitation. The result could be increased conflicts between countries over limited water.

Climate change will have many impacts on the right to health. It will, for example, provide a better climate for malaria carrying mosquitoes.

Many of the rights enshrined under the Convention on the Rights of the Child are threatened by lack of energy (see Did you know box? on the relationship between access to electricity and poverty below). Likewise climate change could undermine many rights. In particular Article 24 relating to the right to clean water, nutritious food and a clean environment could be threatened by global warming.

For further information on the Convention on the Rights of the Child follow this link: http://www.getreadyforchange.org.uk/childrens_rights

Did you know?

There is a direct relationship between not having access to electricity and living in poverty? Here are some examples:

  • Teachers are reluctant to go and work in areas without electricity so children don’t get educated.

  • Many children living in areas without energy, especially girls, do not attend school because they have to work for the family carrying wood and water.

  • Likewise, many women spend much time collecting fire wood and water when they could be carrying out productive activities which could earn them money.

  • There are threats to health. For example, water can’t easily be boiled to make it safe to drink and lung disease can be caused by breathing in smoke from traditional fuels such as wood and dung.

  • Lack of electricity in health clinics can prevent people being properly treated; doctors and nurses need electricity for lighting, refrigeration, and sterilisation in order to deliver effective health services.

  • Radios and television – powered by electricity – can spread important public health information to combat deadly diseases.

    Can you think of any other examples?

See http://www.iea.org/textbase/nppdf/free/2002/energy_poverty.pdf a report from the International Energy Agency for some ideas

Millennium Development Goals

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were agreed at the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000 and nearly 190 countries have signed up to them. The goals are international targets for reducing global poverty. They aim to lift around 500 million people out of poverty by the year 2015. If this happens, fewer women will die in childbirth, fewer people will die from treatable diseases, many more boys and girls will go to school and the lives of millions of people will improve dramatically.

Although energy is not directly mentioned in the eight MDGs, it is a basic requirement for achieving the targets. Without access to reliable and affordable energy, social and economic development simply cannot occur.

For more information on the Millennium Development Goals, follow this link:  http://www.un.org/cyberschoolbus/mdgs/flash/index.asp
For a table showing how important access to energy is to achieving each one of the Millennium Development Goals, follow this link: 
http://www.undp.org/energy/docs/WEAOU_back.pdf