Four out of ten young people fear being parents at a time of acute climate crisis and say governments are failing to prevent a climate crisis, according to a study pre-published Tuesday in the journal Lancet Planetary Health.
The work, which encompasses a population of young people between 16 and 25 in ten different countries, including Portugal, also says that around six in ten people are very or extremely concerned about climate change. A similar number say they do not trust the ability of governments to protect themselves, the planet and future generations.
Along the same lines, three quarters of the sample agree with the statement “the future is scary” and more than half felt they would have fewer opportunities than their parents. Nearly half reported feeling distressed, or anxious about the weather, in a way that was disrupting their daily lives.
The investigation had contributions from around 10 thousand young people from Australia, Brazil, Finland, France, India, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, United Kingdom and United States.
Climate activists, quoted by The Guardian, stressed that the anxiety generated by the climate crisis is more pervasive among young people today. Mitzi Tan, from the Philippines, told the British newspaper that she grew up “afraid” of “drowning in her own room”
“Society tells me that this anxiety is an irrational fear that needs to be overcome, a fear that can be fixed”, says the activist, highlighting a feeling of “betrayal” due to the lack of government strategies. “To really address growing climate anxiety, we need justice.”