Just 52% of students are worried about climate change, according to a new survey which showed optimism in tackling the issue.
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The survey of more than 500 students at the recent BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2023 found almost all (91%) believe the topic should be a key focus in school, while 71% of the respondents said their knowledge of science makes them “more confident” about the issue.
Additionally, girls seem to be more worried about the issue than boys, with 59% of girls saying they were concerned compared with 38% of boys.
Girls were also more likely than boys to feel ignored (14% and 7%), and less likely to feel determined (14% and 21%).
The majority of respondents (91%) believe science and technology can address the issue, while 72% said they have personally taken action in the past six months to help tackle the crisis.
Over two-thirds have reduced waste and increased recycling over the past six months (67%) while 52% said they have cut down on the use of plastics during the same period.
Some 26% of students said they have opted to walk or cycle to school rather than travel by car, while 23% said they have changed their eating habits and consider the carbon footprint of the food they buy.
One-fifth of students said they have asked their parents to install solar panels, while the same amount asked them to insulate their homes.
Participants said the Government, the EU and the business world are most responsible for climate action, but 40% said they themselves were responsible too.
Chief executive of environmental organisation Global Action Plan Hans Zomer said young people are “determined” to find solutions to climate change.
“When asked what they are doing to help fight climate change, young people listed actions they have influence on, such as reducing waste and walking or cycling to school, and actions where they use their voice and influence, such as asking the adults in their lives to reduce energy consumption.
“What this shows is that young people are aware that their actions count and that they want to contribute to the solutions,” he said.