As Global Young People Look to the Future, the Environment Is a Top Concern
On this Earth Day, we are delving into the topic of global teens and young adults’ sentiments about climate change and protecting our natural environment. Using research from our Beyond 2020 and Youth Decoded studies, here’s what we’ve learned:
9 out of 10 believe that climate change is an important issue. The countries whose young people feel most strongly about the importance of climate change are Mexico and Portugal, where 78% strongly agree with this sentiment, followed by Argentina, at 74%.
Of all the things they hope will improve over the next decade, the environment tops the list. Young people see a lot of room for improvement over the next 10 years, with the environment (61%), gender equality (also 61%), and the economy (60%) at the forefront of their concerns.
Natural disasters affected 1 in 3 global young people in 2020. Those most likely to have experienced fires, floods, earthquakes, or other natural disasters were in China (62%) and Mexico (56%).
They expect environmental considerations to play a larger role in future travel decisions. More than 7 in 10 young people predict that a decade from now, people will travel as much as they did before the Covid-19 pandemic. However, 72% predict that environmentally friendly vacations will be more popular and 39% say they personally won’t fly due to its environmental impact.
They’re willing to stand up for climate action. Globally, 59% of young people feel it’s their generation’s responsibility to fix the problems they inherited and 63% believe it’s a personal responsibility to get involved in important issues. In fact, almost 1 in 4 participated in climate protests in 2020 – with even higher percentages in Italy (30%), Germany (29%), and Australia (27%).