Media Advisory: Building the Foundations of Climate Action by Investing in Children

November 30, 2023 – As global leaders gather at the 28th session of the UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP28) in Dubai from November 30 to December 12, early childhood development (ECD) organizations will host a series of side events to put young children at the forefront of climate-impact discussions, actions, and financing. This will be the first time ECD topics are spotlighted during COP as a solution to build climate resilience in children, caregivers, teachers, and others across communities. 

One such event is Growing Green Champions: Building the Foundations of Climate Action by Investing in Children, hosted by ECDAN, UNICEF, and Dubai Cares at RewirEd Summit on December 8, 2023 at the Connect Conference Centre in the Green Zone at Expo City Dubai. Ministers, non-governmental organizations, and advocates will discuss how investments in ECD and foundational learning can yield tangible social and economic benefits that build equitable, resilient, and sustainable communities. 

What: Growing Green Champions: Building the Foundations of Climate Action by Investing in Children event.

When: December 8, 2023; 12:00 pm to 12:45 pm (UTC/GMT +4).

Where: Connect Conference Centre (C3), COP28 Green Zone, EXPO City, Dubai, UAE.

Why: Nearly 90 percent of the global health burden related to climate change is borne by children under five. However, only 2.4 percent of global climate change funding is ear-marked for child-related needs. Young children remain largely ignored in climate change discourse and actions. This session will showcase global and national commitments, innovative practices, and scalable solutions to improve the climate resilience in systems that promote early childhood development and foundational learning.

Who: The following panelists will speak:

  • Hon. Mr. Edil Baisalov, Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Kyrgyz Republic
  • Hon. Ms. Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima, Minister of Education, Malawi
  • Ms. Gillian Caldwell, Chief Climate Officer and Deputy Assistant Administrator, USAID
  • H.E. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Cares
  • Ms. Kitty van der Heijden, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF
  • Ms. Rebecca Chandler Leege, Chief Executive Officer, World Reader
  • Ms. Elizabeth Lule, Executive Director, ECDAN (Moderator)
  • Francisco Vera, UNICEF Youth Advocate, Colombia



Katherine Shek, [email protected], +1-703-362-0803

Carol Mochoge, [email protected], +254-708-712-888

About the Early Childhood Development Action Network 

ECDAN catalyzes collective action on behalf of young children and their families around the world by connecting with global and regional partners, facilitating knowledge exchange and learning and coordinating advocacy for increased investment for quality services. ECDAN’s vision is that every young child is safe, well nourished, healthy, happy, and learning. 

About Dubai Cares

About Dubai Cares Since its inception in 2007, Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has been working towards providing children and youth in developing countries with access to quality education through the design and funding of programs that aim to be impactful, sustainable and scalable. To date, the UAE-based global philanthropic organization has successfully launched education programs reaching over 21 million beneficiaries in 60 developing countries. 

Dubai Cares plays a key role in helping achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and quality education for all, and promote lifelong learning by 2030, by supporting programs in early childhood development, access to quality primary and secondary education, technical and vocational education and training for youth as well as a particular focus on education in emergencies and protracted crises. To learn more, please visit


UNICEF works in the world’s toughest places to reach the most disadvantaged children and adolescents – and to protect the rights of every child, everywhere. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we do whatever it takes to help children survive, thrive and fulfill their potential, from early childhood through adolescence. To learn more, please visit

About RewirEd Summit

RewirEd Summit is Dubai Cares’ flagship platform advocating for transformed education systems as the core enabler for a sustainable future for people and the planet. Drawing from Dubai Cares’ 16 years of global experience in advancing access for children and youth to quality education, RewirEd Summit was established in response to the urgent need to transform education models and bring forward solutions at the intersection of education and other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in partnership with new and unlikely allies.