Environment under threat from global warming, youths say in study

Ninety-two per cent of youths in YouGov study thought global warming is a problem and that the environment is under a bigger threat today than 20 years ago.

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ABU DHABI // An overwhelming number of young people fear the effects of climate change on their future, but only half of them trust companies to protect the environment, a new survey suggests.

The survey of 1,294 millennials in the GCC states, aged from 18 to 29, found that 92 per cent thought global warming was a problem and the environment was at greater risk today than 20 years ago.

More than half believed their education had prepared them sufficiently to face the challenges of global warming and 8 in 10 believed that global warming would change the nature of existing jobs.

Despite more than half believing a solution to global warming could be found, only 6 per cent said it was their generation’s first priority, and only a fifth ranked protecting the environment in their top three priorities.

Four out of five young people trust experts and academics to mitigate the effects of climate change, 77 per cent trusted non-governmental organisations and three out of four trusted their government to protect the environment.

Businesses ranked lowest in confidence, with only half of respondents trusting businesses to step up and help protect the environment.

“It is encouraging to see that 9 out of 10 millennials in the GCC are concerned about the environment and they remain cautiously optimistic that solutions could still be found to counter the issues,” said Kailash Nagdev, regional managing director of YouGov, which carried out the survey.

“The young are leading the way by making cautious choices in terms of career paths and companies they work for, which could help them work on some of these solutions.

“The above combined with lack of trust in companies signals that organisations that genuinely care about the environment would be the brand of choice for employment and purchasing decisions for the millennial workforce.”

For the survey, YouGov questioned 1,294 millennials in the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar.

nalwasmi@thenational.ae