Stand with children affected by climate change

We have seen the devastating impact of climate change first hand and we call on the New Zealand Government to take urgent action to help.

Across the Pacific we meet those living in constant fear of the changing climate and the impact it has on providing for their families. The current government has committed to passing a Zero Carbon Act to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. But it’s up to us to make sure this happens. Every voice counts.

What problems is climate change causing in the Pacific?

What problems is climate change causing in the Pacific?
Climate change is hurting people in poverty the most. Women, men and children in the Solomon Islands have told us of rising sea levels, salt water intrusion, temperature increases and extreme weather events. The changing climate threatens their ability to grow food, maintain a safe water supply, provide for their families and stay healthy. 

We met Aunt Ethel earlier this year (pictured) and she showed us where the village church once stood until the encroaching sea washed it away. Island communities are forced to face the prospect of relocating away from their ancestral homes and start a new life somewhere new. 

World Vision is working with these communities to prevent and respond to climate change. We also lobby governments to reduce global carbon emissions and assist communities in need. Read our policy paper on Climate Change to find out more about our work.

World Vision is on the ground delivering:

World Vision is on the ground delivering:
Mitigation: Teaching children and families the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to tackle the root cause of  climate change. This means burning less fossil fuel as well as planting and protecting trees to absorb the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. 

Adaptation: Certain effects of climate change are already here and we are working with communities to adapt to existing changes. This means growing drought-resistant crops, caring for the soil and planning how to respond to disasters to reduce their effect. 

Emergency response: When climate-related disasters like cyclones and extreme floods strike, World Vision is on the ground responding immediately with life-saving help and supplies. 


The environmental effects of climate change have major consequences for people all around the world. People living in poverty are most vulnerable, especially those who live in low-lying coastal areas such as islands in the Pacific. Climate change makes life harder and more dangerous for them, and adds to existing problems like food insecurity and water scarcity. 

We’ve already seen that droughts, cyclones and floods are more frequent, destroying homes and livelihoods. Seasons are less predictable and crops are failing, pushing millions into hunger. Sea levels are rising, forcing women, men and children to leave their homes and land. 

The social and economic impacts of climate change are making it more difficult for people to enjoy their basic human rights, including those related to food, health, water, housing and adequate standard of living.
Climate change refers to any significant change in the state of the climate that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the leading scientific forum for climate analysis, tells us that planet earth is currently warming in a historically unprecedented manner. Global temperatures have risen by 0.85 degrees Celsius between 1880 and 2012 and the global amounts of snow and ice have drastically diminished. While there are multiple complex drivers, the IPCC suggests that these changes can be mainly attributed to excessive levels of human-induced greenhouse gas emission, particularly the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) and the destruction of forests. Greenhouse gases collect in the atmosphere and, like a blanket, warm the surface of the earth. They are now at their highest levels in history. 

Evidence of climate change is seen in increased global average temperatures, rising sea levels, more frequent and intense storms and melting ice sheets and glaciers.
World Vision is working to tackle climate change through programming and advocacy efforts. 

We are committed to helping communities prepare themselves for climate change. Our work is focused on building communities’ resilience to the effects of climate change, for example through disaster preparedness planning and improving food and water security measures. We are also working to increase environment-enhancing development activities such as reforestation, agro-forestry, and conservation farming in World Vision’s programmes. 

World Vision further advocates with governments to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and fulfil their climate-related commitments under the Paris Agreement as well as the Sustainable Development Goals.
We’ve seen the impact of climate change on the lives of the most vulnerable children we work with first-hand. Droughts, cyclones and floods are more frequent, destroying homes and livelihoods. Seasons are less predictable and crops are failing, pushing millions into hunger. Sea levels are rising, forcing women, men and children to leave their homes and land. 

The poor, especially children, are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. They are least able to protect themselves from its effects and they are least able to recover from climatic disasters. 

In short, climate change will affect almost every aspect of World Vision’s work and mission in the years to come. As one of the world’s leading aid and development organisations, World Vision recognises that to serve the poor faithfully, we must take the challenge of climate change seriously.
A Zero Carbon Act would not only safeguard New Zealand’s future, but that of communities in the developing world who are already on the frontline of climate change. The Act’s main purpose is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Greenhouse gas emissions are the main driver of climate change; if we want to stabilise our climate we must eliminate them as soon as possible. 

In detail, the Act would do three things: 

Set a climate goal
Science tells us that we need to bring our carbon pollution to zero if we want a safe and stable climate future. The best way to do this is to set a goal: Zero net emissions by 2050. Signing it into law will ensure we actually get there. 

Give New Zealand a climate plan
A goal is no good without a plan to get there. So the law would require government to set legally-binding five-year emissions budgets to put New Zealand on track for our 2050 goal. It will be up to the government of the day to determine how to use those budgets and move towards carbon neutrality.

Create a climate commission
A new Climate Commission will provide expert advice on policies to put New Zealand on track to meeting its 2050 goal, and monitor the government’s progress to ensure transparency and accountability.

Taking urgent action to combat climate change is a commitment New Zealand has signed up to internationally, both under the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. Countries like the UK and Denmark have already put in place binding climate legislation, similar to the Zero Carbon Act. It works, and it’s the right thing to do.