Climate Change

The other climate crisis

Climate change poses an unparalleled test for humanity. The burden will fall disproportionately on the young generation. How well do young people understand the challenge?

UNICEF + Gallup asked young + older people in 55 countries how they experience the world today.

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We first asked young people aged 15-24 whether they had heard of climate change. How many do you think answered yes?

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On average, 85% of young people say they've heard of climate change.
We then asked young people who had heard of climate change to identify the correct definition of it between two options.

What share, on average, do you think got it right?

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On average, only 50% chose the correct definition of climate change: a rise in average world temperatures and more extreme weather events resulting from human activities.
The remainder think climate change refers to seasonal changes in temperature.
% of young people who understand climate change
Low-income countries
Lower-middle income countries
Upper-middle income countries
High-income countries
It's clear that climate change understanding among young people globally is far from complete.
This is especially true in poorer countries — which have contributed least to the crisis — yet are most exposed to it.
On average, 82% of young people in high-income countries say they have heard of climate change and are able to identify the correct definition.
The share is just 47% on average in low-income countries.
The good news is that many more people are aware of climate change today globally than they were ~15 years ago.
In 2008 this was just 56% of people.
Today, approximately 80% of people are aware of climate change.
There has also been modest growth in climate understanding across all age groups in the same period.
But climate knowledge globally falls far short of what is needed. A failure to understand the climate crisis hampers our ability to respond to it.
Climate education can help strengthen the demand for change.

What can be done to improve awareness about climate change around the world?

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