What’s going on here?
New research has revealed that climate anxiety is common in young people on almost every continent – not just in western countries.
What does this mean?
The most international study on climate anxiety ever asked over 10,000 university students in 32 countries to disclose their feelings about climate change.
The recently published findings found that climate breakdown scares young people everywhere, from Chile to China and Tanzania to Turkey. Almost half of the participants said they were ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ worried about it. About 25% said it ‘terrified’ them.
Why should we care?
The research uncovered a strong connection in 24 countries between worrying about climate and taking climate action. For example, eco-friendly behaviour like saving energy, taking the bus, or avoiding food waste.
But the jump from worrying about climate to going to a protest is more likely to happen in only 12 of the countries the study observed. And most of these are democratic and more affluent.
The study said that political or financial barriers in more authoritarian or poorer societies may be to blame for putting people off direct action, no matter how much they worry.
- Read the full paper (or if you’re short on time but want to know a bit more, see Grist’s report)
- Check out our interview with young Indonesian climate activist Yudi Iskandar
- Take part in peaceful, direct action as an antidote to anxiety: join a movement like Extinction Rebellion or take action with Fridays for Future