September 2022: Youth-driven design and research nonprofit YLabs and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in partnership with the Wellbeing Foundation Africa announced the Children, Cities, and Climate Action Lab (CCC Action Lab) commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative’s September 2022 meeting in New York City. In further collaboration with, C40, and Urban Better, the CCC Action Lab is an initiative to accelerate healthy decarbonization in cities through youth leadership and action.
The world is currently on track for catastrophic levels of warming that threaten to undermine the health of people everywhere, especially amongst the most vulnerable.
- There are 6.7M estimated annual deaths due to air pollution and air pollution kills more children annually than malaria and diarrhea combined (Lancet, 2022).
- Nearly 60% of the world’s population live in cities today, which will increase to 70% of 2050.
- African cities are urbanizing most quickly, with 90% of the projected global urban growth between 2021-50 occurring.
- Many cities with severe climate change vulnerabilities also have the largest youth populations, who are rarely given a seat at the policy table to advocate for their futures in a changing world.
- Cities’ carbon consumption drives both the global climate crisis (an estimated 70% of emissions come from cities) and a localized health crisis for urban residents, in the form of air pollution.
There is a critical opportunity to embed human health and climate considerations into how these cities grow. Young people’s voices and ideas need to shape the current dialogue, policy, and, most importantly, action. Working in target cities across Nigeria, the CCC Action Lab will:
- Conduct cutting-edge modelling of the health benefits of decarbonization in each city and massive real-time social media surveys of young people’s experience of urban environmental hazards, building on CCC Action Lab’s Phase 1 research;
- Conduct participatory workshops with young leaders and parents to harness youth voices and action in advocacy to city/national governments and set a course for action;
- Provide evidence-driven, targeted technical assistance to focal cities that have demonstrated commitment to taking concrete regulatory and policy actions toward decarbonization and healthier urban environments.
By putting young people in the lead, and with cutting-edge data as the fuel, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa and CCC Action Lab will help ensure cities are livable, breathable places for everyone.
Media Contact: Zelia Bukhari, Global Health Advocacy and Communications Manager, Her Excellency Toyin Saraki’s Global Office