MP becomes UNICEF ‘children’s champion’
11:47 13 January 2014
Archant © 2013
A Norfolk MP has been appointed as a “children’s champion” for a global charity.
Henry Bellingham (pictured) was approached by the UNICEF branch in his constituency to take on the role lobbying for improvements for young people across the world.
In particular he has been asked to take up the cause of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which UNICEF says are affecting children worldwide.
Mr Bellingham said he was “very happy” to take on the role.
“We’re seeing more extreme weather and climatic events,” he said. “We’re even seeing a more volatile climate to some extent in this country.
“The poorest countries are where children are suffering the most. Children in these countries are the least responsible for climate change but the most vulnerable.
“It is important that as a developed country, we do our bit to help the poorest in the world. However if we can help, there will be fewer refugees and less need for humanitarian relief around the around.”
Mr Bellingham said the UK was already giving money to help fight climate change in the poorest nations – but that he believed other better-off nations do not contribute as much as Britain.
“The job to be done by Britain is putting pressure on other developed countries to keep up the pressure,” he said. “One thing we certainly can do is try to make these countries pay their fair share.”
He pointed out that the cost of helping to clear up the effects of the hurricanes and cyclones in Pakistan and the Phillippines would cost more than giving money to try to prevent crises in the first place.