Climate Change

Climate Emergency the Biggest Fear for Children

We surveyed 3,089 young Australians aged between five and 14 to see how they feel about today’s society's perceived issues.

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Michael Hewitt

Nov 17, 2020 • 3 min read

climate change illustration hand holding half burning planet half healthy planet

91% of five to 14-year-olds say Climate Change is their top worry

There’s only so much we can do to protect our little ones when it comes to the scary stuff on the news, and at some point, they’re going to realise what’s happening in the world around them.

We wanted to know just how much our young people are thinking about the world around them and how much concern this is causing them and how we can help.

We surveyed 3,089 young Australians aged between five and 14 to see how they feel about today’s society's perceived issues.

For us to get the most honest insight possible, we specified that participants can have help from mum and dad to answer the questions but should not be influenced in any way. For context, the 2020 Climate Change Performance Index ranked Australia last out of 57 nations* for its climate change efforts.

Here are some of the most interesting insights from the study:

When asked ‘what is your biggest concern in the world right now?’ respondents answered by ranking the following:

  1. Climate change and sustainability - 91%
  2. Friends and family relationships - 76%
  3. COVID pandemic - 61%
  4. Bullying - 39%

‘How do you read or find out about the news? Tick all that apply’

  • I don’t - 11%
  • Social media - 59%
  • News websites - 22%
  • TV and radio - 6%
  • Family and friends - 65%

‘Do you feel as though you understand what’s going on in the world around you?’

  • Yes - 64%
  • No - 36%

‘Do you and your family work towards fighting climate change?’

  • Yes - 88%
  • No - 12%

‘If not, when will you take action towards fighting climate change?’

  • Do not intend to - 6%
  • In the future - 15%
  • Immediately - 76%

‘What do you or will you (and your family) do to fight climate change?’

  • Recycling - 72%
  • Using public transport more - 58%
  • Take shorter showers - 61%
  • Pick up rubbish around the community - 21%
  • Volunteer with an organisation - 23%

Stuart McConaghy of said,

"The Climate Emergency is an issue that spans generations now more than ever, and the unfortunate reality for parents is that it’s no longer something we can shield our children from. It’s an issue that is going to have to be dealt with by the youth of today, so it’s no wonder that there is a general feeling of fear amongst children and teens that it will have a profound effect on their whole lives.”

“The Australian people have endured so much in 2020 - the tragic bushfires, followed by the COVID pandemic, and the devastating news that we’ve lost half of our Great Barrier Reef since 1995 due to global warming.”

“Hopefully we can continue to foster the passion and drive of these young people and help them to lead the much-needed climate revolution.”

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