The new poll, called the ‘G20 Peoples’ Climate Vote, polled more than 689,000 people, including more than 302,000 people under the age of 18, and was released ahead of a crucial G20 summit in Rome this weekend, and the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow next week.
Building on a first round of voting released earlier this year, the new results provide new insight into how under-18s are supporting various climate policies in G20 countries.
Across all G20 countries surveyed, a majority under the age of 18 said they believed climate change was a global emergency, ranging from Argentina and Saudi Arabia (63%) to Italy and in the UK (86%).
In most countries, those under 18 are more likely to believe it than adults, and often by wide margins, such as Australia (11 percentage points), the United States (10 points) and the ‘India (nine points).
Without bold action by the G20 countries, which account for 80% of the world economy and 75% of global emissions, it will be impossible to keep global heating at 1.5 ° C, as required by the Paris Agreement of 2015.
“This new People’s Climate Vote shows that on average 70% of young people in G20 countries believe we are in a global climate emergency,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner.
“As they are on the verge of inheriting this climate emergency, young people are sending a strong and clear message to world leaders: they want climate action now. The world is watching now – hoping countries come together in COP26 in Glasgow to make bold and historic decisions that will literally change the future. “
The most popular climate policies among under-18s in the G20 countries surveyed were forest and land conservation (59%), the use of solar, wind and renewable energy, and the use of agricultural techniques. climate-friendly (both 57%).
Support for these policies was stronger among young people by three percentage points for the first two policies, and four percentage points for climate-friendly agriculture.
The gap between children and adults was greatest on policies such as increasing access to good, affordable insurance, which allows people to recover from the effects of extreme weather events faster, and using cleaner cars and e-bikes, at five percentage points.
The generational gap regarding climate change policies could be even larger in each country, depending on their particular characteristics, and points to a potential short-term change in demand for climate policies, as young people become fairly young. old to vote.
Stephen Fisher, Department of Sociology, University of Oxford, said: “Our results show that young people in the G20 want a bold and broad set of policy responses from governments. As they grow up, political leaders cannot ignore the higher expectations of this emerging climate-conscious electorate. “
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