The majority of younger population, mostly under the age of 18, believe that climate change is a global emergency and are in favour of extending support to bold climate beneficial actions, according to a poll conducted by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the University of Oxford
The poll, conducted among the residents of G20 countries, showed a massive public support for climate actions. The survey results bring good news for future of climate actions as these teenagers may become votary of climate-friendly initiatives when they enter work force and move into positions of greater influence.
The results of the'G20 Peoples' Climate Vote' have been published ahead of a crucial G20 summit that is going to be held in Rome from 30 Oct 2021 to 31 Oct 2021. The COP26 climate talks are also set to take place in Glasgow next week. The poll surveyed over 689,000 people. Out of the total people, 302,000 people were under the age of 18.
The Poll shows that the under-18 generation is most inclined towards climate actions like conservation of forests and land (59 per cent), using solar, wind and renewable power and using climate-friendly farming techniques (57 per cent).
In most countries, under-18s are more likely to believe this than adults, and often by large margins, such as Australia (11 percentage points), the US (10 points), and India (nine points).
Without bold action from G20 countries, which account for 80 per cent of the global economy and 75 per cent of global emissions, it will be impossible to keep global heating to 1.5C, as required by the 2015 Paris Agreement.
"This new Peoples' Climate Vote shows that, on average, 70 per cent of young people in G20 countries believe that we are in a global climate emergency," says UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner.
"Given that they are about to inherit this climate emergency, young people are sending a message to global leaders that is loud and clear: they want climate action now. The world is now watching -- hoping that countries will come together at COP26 in Glasgow to make bold, historic decisions that will literally change the future."
The most popular climate policies among under-18s in the G20 countries surveyed were conservation of forests and land (59 per cent), using solar, wind and renewable power and using climate-friendly farming techniques (both 57 per cent).
Support for these policies was stronger among young people by three percentage points for the first two policies, and by four percentage points for climate-friendly farming.
The gap between children and adults was greatest on policies like increasing access to good, affordable insurance, which enables people to recover more quickly from the impacts of extreme weather events, and using more clean electric cars and bicycles, at five percentage points.
The generational divide on climate change policies could be even larger in individual countries, depending on their particular characteristics, and highlights a potential near-term shift in demand for climate policies, as young people become old enough to vote.
Stephen Fisher, Department of Sociology, University of Oxford, said: "Our findings show that younger people within the G20 want a bold and broad set of policy responses from governments. As they come of age, political leaders cannot ignore the higher expectations of this emerging climate-aware electorate."