NEWS: Only 1 in 5 young people believe they are listened to when it comes to decisions on climate change and the environment

The latest Groundwork report has found that less than one in five young people believe their opinions about how to tackle climate change and environmental issues are taken on board.

The ‘Youth in a Changing Climate’ report has examined the perspectives of young people between the ages 16-25 years in the UK on climate change and discusses barriers which prevent young people from taking climate action.


Key findings of the report

The data gathered via focus groups and an online survey of over 500 young people has found:

  • 92% felt that tackling climate change and protecting the environment is important to them personally.
  • Young people were less confident about their knowledge of climate change: 56% said that they knew ‘a lot’ about climate change.
  • Around half of young people said they had been involved in climate action in the past.
  • 66% said they didn’t learn enough about climate change from their mainstream education, with school or college being the primary source of information on climate change and the environment for just 13% of young people.
  • Young people think they are not being taken seriously enough in decision making by local authorities and the government and want to see more action from those in power.

The report is calling for more action from the government, policy makers and those in a position to implement changes to bring young people into the heart of the conversation, expressing a sense of feeling ‘fed up’ at not being listened to with a general sense of frustration with the lack of diversity of those who are leading the climate change conversations.

Radya Syed, 23, Groundwork’s Kickstart Policy & Research Trainee and report co-author said:

This report shows how urgently our government needs to act on the net-zero target to protect our futures. Covid-19 has proven that we are capable of making drastic changes to our lives when faced with adversity. I believe that same level of urgency is needed from people and our government to collectively tackle climate change.

Graham Duxbury, Groundwork’s UK Chief Executive said:

All eyes are on Glasgow at the moment and the ability of global leaders to strike a deal that gives us a fighting chance of meeting our targets to minimise the impact of climate change.  This is a moment when politicians can prove that they’re listening to the concerns of young people and doing the right thing by future generations.

Amplifying the youth voice

Groundwork social media accounts are hosting a youth ‘takeover’ on Friday 5 November. Young people will be sharing their views and opinions about climate change on Groundwork UK Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles in a range of formats and medias.