Jeff Masters Weather Blog

Action plan outlines ways to help protect children from climate hazards » Yale Climate Connections

Young children are especially vulnerable to the harmful impacts of climate change.

Many suffer from asthma that’s worsened by wildfire smoke and air pollution from coal, oil, or gas. Others face mental health challenges after experiencing a weather disaster.

So Claudia Benitez-Nelson, a climate scientist at the University of South Carolina, says it’s important to implement policies that help protect kids.

Benitez-Nelson: “We cannot abdicate our responsibilities to our children, to future generations.”

Benitez-Nelson is one of the authors of the U.S. Early Years Climate Action Plan, a report from the Aspen Institute and Capita, a think tank.

It suggests numerous possible government actions.

For example, state governments could implement policies that help child care programs prepare for extreme weather. Local governments could launch air quality monitoring and restrict the use of industrial trucks near schools.

Benitez-Nelson: “This is a road map. So when you go and … you talk to your state, local government, your representatives, and they say, ‘We’re not really sure what we should be doing,’ or ‘Eh, I’m not sure,’ you’re like, ‘No, no, no, here’s the recommended actions.’”

… to help keep kids safe amid the changing climate.

Reporting credit: Ethan Freedman / ChavoBart Digital Media

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