Without bold action by the G20 countries, which account for 80% of the global economy and 75% of global emissions, it will be impossible to keep global warming at 1.5 ° C, as required by the Accord. of Paris in 2015.
A major public opinion poll on climate change in G20 countries released a few days ago by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the University of Oxford shows how public support for the Climate action is expected to gain strength in the near future as climate-sensitive adolescents grow into voting age, enter the workforce and assume positions of greater influence.
The new survey, called the People's Vote for the G20 Climate , 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, in Italy, last weekend, and just before the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, UK, which are taking place right now.
Building on a first round of poll released earlier this year, the new findings provide more precise information on how under-18s support various climate policies in G20 countries.
Across all G20 countries surveyed, a majority of under-18s said they think climate change is a global emergency, ranging from Argentina and Saudi Arabia (63%), to Italy and the UK (86%). In most countries, those under 18 are more likely to believe this than adults, and there is often a large gap between the two age groups observed, such as Australia (eleven percentage points), the United States (ten points) and India (nine points).
“This new popular 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 will come together at 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 (57% each). Support for these policies was increased among young people by three percentage points for the first two policies and by four percentage points for climate-friendly agriculture.
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality and climate change. By working with a vast network of experts and partners in 170 countries, this organization helps countries build integrated and sustainable solutions for people and the planet.
The gap between children and adults was greatest when it came to policies such as making it easier and cheaper to access good insurance, which allows people to recover from the effects of the phenomena more quickly. extreme weather, and the use of cleaner cars and e-bikes, to five percentage points.
The generational gap on climate change policies could be even larger in different countries, depending on their particular characteristics, and points to a potential short-term shift in the demand for climate policies, as young people become fairly young. aged to vote.
Professor 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 reach adulthood, political leaders cannot ignore the higher expectations of this emerging climate-conscious electorate. "