Vast Majority of Young People Feel Concerned about Climate Change

An overwhelming percentage of young people (97%) are feeling concerned about climate change according to the Youth Climate Justice Survey*, also revealing that young people are feeling anxious, angry, and fearful but also eager to act. These survey findings were presented at The Earth Gala last Friday night, which was organised by Ireland’s leading environmental education and youth organisation ECO-UNESCO.

The climate justice event is part of the Youth Climate Advocate programme, a collaborative project led by ECO-UNESCO with 3 other national youth organisations – NoName Club, Feachtas and Young Irish Filmmakers – funded by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. The event gathered passionate young people, environmental experts and policy makers to network and think of solutions to climate justice issues.

On the night ECO-UNESCO published the Youth Climate Justice Survey results collected from over 1,000 young people in Ireland aged 16-25 years old. This survey was conducted online through a collaboration between ECO-UNESCO and SpunOut.ie. The purpose of this survey is to highlight how young people in Ireland feel about climate justice issues, finding that 60% feel they have been personally impacted by climate change.

The survey also looked at the barriers to their engagement, what their knowledge is on this topic and what supports they would like. With nearly half of respondents admitting that they felt no one listens to their concerns, and over 50% asking for youth organisations to better communicate on their behalf with decision makers.

Speaking at the Earth Gala, Elaine Nevin, National Director of ECO-UNESCO commented: “It’s concerning to see that eco-anxiety is growing and how so many young people are feeling  anxious and fearful over climate change, but as Ireland’s leading environmental youth education organisation it is our responsibility to ensure we are giving them a platform to communicate and learn the skills so they can feel empowered to make positive environmental changes.”

 

When young people were asked what was most important when it came to tackling climate change, their responses pointed to changes in big business and corporations as the biggest issue in the fight for climate action.

 

They also highlighted how they would like to learn more about the circular economy, politics and policies around climate change, and the role that businesses and corporations play.

 

Elaine continued: “The survey found that 32% of young people felt they did not have the skills to fight climate change, so we would like to encourage young eco-activists across Ireland to take eco-action now and apply to the 2023 Young Environmentalists Awards programme (YEAs). The YEA’s are a great way for young people to learn about climate change, raise awareness and take environmental action both locally and nationally.”

The YEA programme is a fun and exciting way for young people to build awareness and promote local actions and lifestyle changes to the environment. The final showcase will be held in May 2023.

 

Please find more information on the Youth Climate Justice Survey results here, and to register for the YEA’s, please go to www.YEA.ie.

*The Youth Climate Justice Survey was conducted online through a collaboration of ECO-UNESCO and SpunOut.ie. Carried out over 14 days, with a total of 1,053 respondents aged between 16-25 years.

About ECO-UNESCO:

ECO-UNESCO is Ireland’s Environmental Education and Youth Organisation that works to conserve the environment and empower young people. ECO-UNESCO is affiliated to the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations (WFUCA).

ECO-UNESCO’s aims are:

  • To raise environmental awareness, understanding and knowledge of the environment among young people

  • To promote the protection and conservation of the environment

  • To promote the personal development of young people through practical environmental projects and activities

  • To promote the ideals of UNESCO

 

About the Youth Climate Advocate Programme,

The Earth Gala was organised by Ireland’s leading youth environmental education and youth organisation ECO-UNESCO.  The climate justice event is part of the Youth Climate Advocate programme, a collaborative project led by ECO-UNESCO with 3 other national youth organisations – NoName Club, Feachtas and Young Irish Filmmakers funded by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.

The event gathered passionate young people, environmental experts and policy makers to network and think of solutions to climate justice issues.

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