A poll in ten countries revealed that four out of ten young people worldwide are hesitant to have children due to the climate issue and believe governments are doing too little to avoid global catastrophe.
According to the largest scientific study on climate anxiety and young people yet published on Tuesday, nearly six out of ten young people aged 16 to 25 were very or highly concerned about climate change. But, unfortunately, a comparable amount felt deceived by the older generation and governments, who claimed they were not safeguarding them, the earth, or future generations.
More than half believed they would have fewer chances than their parents, and three-quarters agreed that "the future is bleak." In addition, nearly half of those polled said the environment made them unhappy or nervous and impacted their everyday lives and functioning.
Asking Gen-Zers Around the World
Around 10,000 young people were polled in Australia, Brazil, Finland, France, India, Nigeria, the Philippines, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Avaaz, a campaigning organization, paid for it.
Luisa Neubauer, a 25-year-old climate activist co-organizer of the German school strike campaign, helped secure the court victory that compelled the German government to re-evaluate its climate policy. It is increasingly normal for young people to be concerned about having children.
Working for Solutions
"I encounter a lot of young females who wonder if it's still okay to have children," she added. It's a simple question, but it reveals a lot about the current climatic situation. We young people realized that simply being concerned about the climate issue would not be enough to prevent it. As a result, we channeled our fear into collective action. And now we're battling on the streets, in the courts, and within and outside of institutions all across the world. Despite this, governments continue to fail us as emissions reach new highs. The most acceptable response to this report would be for governments to begin doing as they promised."
According to Unicef, youngsters and young people throughout the globe are facing the brunt of the climate catastrophe, with 1 billion children at "extreme risk" from the effects of climate collapse.
The report, titled Young People's Voices on Climate Anxiety, Government Betrayal, and Moral Injury: A Global Phenomenon, was distributed on a pre-publication basis by the scientific journal Lancet Planetary Health still peer-reviewed. Seven academic institutions in the UK, Europe, and the United States, including the University of Bath, the University of East Anglia, and the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, performed and analyzed the poll.
Climate Crisis Anxiety
The poll adds to earlier studies that have revealed widespread anxiety over the global climate problem, including concerns about having children.
"This study portrays a horrible picture of pervasive climate anxiety among our children and young people," said Caroline Hickman of the University of Bath's Climate Psychology Alliance and co-lead author on the study. For the first time, it indicates a relationship between high levels of psychological distress in adolescents and government inactivity. Our children's worry is a perfectly reasonable reaction in light of governments' ineffective solutions to climate change. What else does a government need to hear to act?"
Francois Hollande, who was president of France when the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, urged nations to take notice at the Cop26 UN climate summit in Glasgow in November. "Six years after the Paris Agreement, we must confront the brutality of climate change, not only in terms of its impact on our planet but also in terms of our youth's mental health, as this disturbing study demonstrates. We must act quickly and do everything we can to ensure the future of future generations," he added.
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