67% population under 18 years in India consider climate change global emergency: Report

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In India, about 67 per cent of the population under the age of 18 years consider climate change a global emergency, compared to about 58 per cent of adults, according to a new UNDP report. A sample size of 34,749 adults and 31,390 under 18 from India was taken for the G20 People’s Climate Vote 2021 Report by the UNDP and the Oxford University.

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According to the global report, youth across the world are more aware of the severity of climate change and are seeking urgent policy-action on the climate front more strongly.

In India, about 67 per cent of the population under the age of 18 years consider climate change a global emergency, compared to about 58 per cent of adults, according to the report.

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In the age group of 18-35 years, 61 per cent believe in a climate emergency while it goes down to 59 per cent in the age group of 36-59 years and further reduces to 49 per cent in over 60 years age group, it said.

“Strong advocates for green development, the youth are ‘walking the talk’ by making climate conscious choices in their lifestyles such as buying sustainably sourced products and opting for eco-friendly transportation as well devoting their skills to harness innovative ideas to aid action towards the climate crisis,” the report said.

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Stopping burning polluting fuels was a popular policy in the UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, and France, with majority support among both under-18s and adults in these countries, it said.

“There were much lower levels of support elsewhere, with just 30 per cent of adults in India and Saudi Arabia supporting this policy, compared to 36 per cent and 32 per cent of under-18s in these countries, respectively,” the report said.

Support among adults and under-18s on policies such as conserving forests and land to address climate change varied depending on the country.

“It was 10 percentage points higher among adults than under-18s in the UK, for example, whereas in Brazil, Russia and India it was higher among under-18s than adults, 10 per cent, nine per cent and nine per cent higher, respectively,” it said.

In the G20 Peoples’ Climate Vote, people aged 18 and over (adults) and those under 18, were asked whether they considered climate change a global emergency.

“In all countries, large majorities of adults said that climate change is a global emergency, ranging from the United Kingdom (81 per cent) and Italy (80 per cent), to Argentina and India, on 57 per cent and 58 per cent respectively,” it said.

Stopping burning fuels that pollute was a popular policy in Australia, Canada, and the European G20 members, with majority support among under-18s and adults, apart from Italy.

“There were much lower levels of support elsewhere, with just 30 per cent of adults supporting this policy in India and Saudi Arabia,” it said

On public support for conservation of forests and land, more under-18s supported this policy than adults in India (52 per cent versus 43 per cent), the report said.

Popular support for environmental stewards was relatively inconsistent among under-18s and adults, and between countries, likely driven by cultural and social differences.

“Support was highest among under-18s in Australia (64 per cent) and adults in the United Kingdom (61 per cent), and was relatively low in Saudi Arabia, India, and South Korea,” it said.

On climate friendly farming, the US saw the largest difference, with 72 per cent of under-18s support climate-friendly farming, compared with just 60 per cent of adults, and India, where 51 per cent of under-18s support, compared with 43 per cent of adults.

“This indicates a need for more education among adults on the benefits of climate-friendly farming,” it said.

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