UK teens are more concerned about climate change than any other country in the G20 group of developed countries, according to a major United Nations survey.
Some 86% of 14 to 18-year-olds see climate change as a “global emergency”, placing them first among Italian adolescents and ahead of the 18 other G20 countries, for which the average was 70%, according to the researchers.
Canada, Germany and France were next at 83% each, while Argentina and Saudi Arabia were at the bottom of the scale at 63%, according to the G20 climate vote of 302,000. under 18 by the University of Oxford and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the University of Oxford.
Cassie Flynn, UNDP climate change adviser, said young people around the world are afraid of global warming and it is causing protests that are forcing world leaders to start facing its dangers.
Young people in the UK have a particularly ‘sophisticated’ understanding of the environment – with 79% of them supporting renewable energy and three-quarters supporting climate-friendly agriculture – and they play a key role in accountability of politicians, she said.
Talk to I from Glasgow on the day that teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg crossed town with thousands of other protesters, Flynn said: “The growing youth movement is finally pushing leaders into action.
“Young people look around and they see the forest fires and they see the floods, the droughts and they are worried, they are afraid and they want to act now.
“They are not going to sit on the sidelines. They are not going to nod politely as the world makes decisions that affect their entire future.
“The protests today are basically saying ‘we are marking you and we are going to hold you accountable for the decision you make’,” she said.