How has the climate crisis affected your outlook on having kids?
Four in 10 young people around the world are hesitant to have children as a result of global heating, and fear that governments are doing too little to prevent climate catastrophe, a poll in 10 countries has found.
Nearly six in 10 young people, aged 16 to 25, were very or extremely worried about climate change, according to the scientific study – the biggest yet on climate anxiety and young people.
A similar number said governments were not protecting them, the planet, or future generations, and felt betrayed by the older generation and governments.
Young climate activists said feelings of anxiety over the climate were now widespread among today’s youth.
Mitzi Tan, 23, from the Philippines, said: “I grew up being afraid of drowning in my own bedroom. Society tells me that this anxiety is an irrational fear that needs to be overcome, one that meditation and healthy coping mechanisms will ‘fix’.” At its root, our climate anxiety comes from this deep-set feeling of betrayal because of government inaction. To truly address our growing climate anxiety, we need justice.”
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.
Three-quarters of those who took part agreed with the statement “the future is frightening”, and more than half felt they would have fewer opportunities than their parents.
Nearly half reported feeling distressed or anxious about the climate in a way that was affecting their daily lives and functioning.
Earlier this month, Unicef found that children and young people around the world were bearing the brunt of the climate crisis, with 1 billion children at “extreme risk” from the impacts of climate breakdown.