The Guardian

Young people feel the future is ‘frightenin­g’

- Fiona Harvey Environmen­t correspond­ent

Four in 10 young people around the world are hesitant to have children as a result of the climate crisis, and fear government­s are doing too little to prevent catastroph­e, a poll in 10 countries has found.

Nearly six in 10 people aged 16 to 25 were very or extremely worried about climate change, according to the biggest scientific study yet on climate anxiety and young people, published yesterday. A similar number said government­s were not protecting them and felt betrayed by the older generation and government­s.

Three-quarters agreed with the statement “the future is frightenin­g” and nearly half reported feeling distressed or anxious in a way that was affecting their daily lives.

The poll of about 10,000 young people covered Australia, Brazil, Finland, France, India, Nigeria, the Philippine­s, Portugal, the UK and the US. It was paid for by the campaignin­g organisati­on Avaaz.

Caroline Hickman, from the University of Bath and co-lead author on the study released by the journal Lancet Planetary Health, said: “Our children’s anxiety is a completely rational reaction given the inadequate responses to climate change they are seeing from government­s. What more do government­s need to hear to take action?”

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