En­vi­ron­ment, cli­mate change low pri­or­ity for young Arabs

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

Global cli­mate change ranks al­most bot­tom of a list of con­cerns for young Arabs across the Mid­dle East and North Africa, ac­cord­ing to find­ings in the eighth an­nual ASDA’A Bur­son-Marsteller Arab Youth Sur­vey 2016.

Of the 27 key is­sues raised in the Sur­vey, con­cerns over “cli­mate change and the en­vi­ron­ment” placed at 26, above only “per­sonal debt”. “The rise of Daesh” res­onated the most with young peo­ple and was listed as their top-most con­cern. Just 54 per cent of young Arabs cited “cli­mate change and the en­vi­ron­ment” be­ing of con­cern, com­pared with 77 per cent of re­spon­dents for “the rise of Daesh”.

In the shadow of the 22nd Ses­sion of the Con­fer­ence of Par­ties to the United Na­tions Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change (COP22), held in Mar­rakech, Morocco, from Novem­ber 7-18, 2016, the Sur­vey’s find­ings suggest the UN still has much to do to en­cour­age Arab Youth through­out the Mid­dle East to be­come en­gaged with the en­vi­ron­men­tal agenda.

The Sur­vey shows a marked ge­o­graphic vari­a­tion over the level of con­cern: in the GCC, for ex­am­ple, 51 per cent of young Arabs said they were not concerned about the en­vi­ron­ment and cli­mate change. In North Africa, how­ever, youth ap­pear to be more en­gaged on the is­sue, as 65 per cent of young peo­ple there ex­pressed con­cern over the is­sue. In the COP22 host coun­try, 70 per cent of young Moroc­cans said cli­mate change was a con­cern.

Arab youth are also am­biva­lent about their lead­er­ships’ abil­ity to tackle cli­mate change. When asked how con­fi­dent they were in their na­tional gov­ern­ment’s abil­ity to deal with cli­mate change, the per­cent­age of young peo­ple in the GCC who ex­pressed be­lief in their coun­try’s lead­er­ship was very high, at 78 per cent, against 50 per cent for all Arabs, and just 36 per cent for young Arabs in North Africa and 29 per cent for youth in the Le­vant.

“It is clearly wor­ry­ing that young Arabs put such a low pri­or­ity on cli­mate change - some­thing that has the po­ten­tial to have a ma­jor im­pact on the Arab world,” said Su­nil John, Founder and CEO of ASDA’A Bur­son-Marsteller. “From the Sa­hara en­croach­ing on farm­land in North Africa; this year’s heat­wave in Iraq and the huge car­bon foot­prints of GCC states, cli­mate change and threats to the en­vi­ron­ment pose a very real dan­ger to the re­gion’s fu­ture.

“While it is en­cour­ag­ing that youth in North Africa are tak­ing the is­sue se­ri­ously, more needs to be done to get the mes­sage across to young peo­ple in the wealth­ier Gulf states that cli­mate change is a se­ri­ous is­sue that needs to be ad­dressed.” Now in its eighth year, the ASDA’A Bur­son­Marsteller Arab Youth Sur­vey has es­tab­lished it­self as a key re­fer­ral source for busi­nesses and pol­i­cy­mak­ers across the world. For the 2016 sur­vey, in­ter­na­tional polling firm Penn Schoen Ber­land (PSB) con­ducted 3,500 face-to-face in­ter­views with ex­clu­sively Arab na­tional men and women aged 18-24 in the six Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil (GCC) coun­tries of the UAE, Saudi Ara­bia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain; as well as Iraq, Egypt, Jor­dan, Le­banon, Libya, Pales­tine, Tu­nisia, Morocco, Al­ge­ria and Ye­men. The in­ter­views were con­ducted from Jan­uary 20 to Fe­bru­ary 12, 2016. In-depth re­sults from the eighth An­nual ASDA’A Bur­son-Marsteller Arab Youth Sur­vey 2016, in­clud­ing sur­vey high­lights and a White Pa­per in Ara­bic and English, are avail­able at www.araby­outh­sur­vey.com.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.