A new national survey of seven- to 14-year-old children found that 65% are frightened of climate change and almost a third feel powerless to make a difference.
The Eden Project commissioned Generation Alpha experts at Beano Brain, a kids’ insight consultancy from Beano Studios, to survey more than 1,000 seven- to 14-year-olds and their parents to gain insight into their attitudes and understanding towards the topic of climate change.
The study showed that while 30% of the children surveyed do not think they can make an impact, or perhaps do not know how, 81% want to learn more about how they can help the planet.
Temperature (59%), the ice caps melting (53%) and rising sea levels (51%) were considered the things most impacted by climate change, according to the young people questioned.
When asked who should take responsibility for mitigating the impacts of climate change, 67% of the surveyed children felt that everyone has a part to play.
However, a staggering 85% agreed that people in charge, like the government, should be doing more.
Other insights found that children trust their teachers (47%) among the top sources of reliable information on climate change, closely followed by parents (46%) and environmental charities (40%).
And while feeling powerless about making an impact ranked highly, many children are exhibiting one or more green behaviours, such as using reusable water bottles (59%), turning off lights and appliances (52%), cycling or walking more (48%) and having showers instead of baths to save water (47%).
Kids’ top worries
Climate change came sixth among children’s Top 10 worries, after family health, exams and tests, bullying, relationships with friends and not having enough money.
Encouragingly, the survey found that two-thirds of young people engage in some form of activism.
One 10-year-old girl who took part said: ‘I think adults should be more worried and doing more. Kids can’t drive and we don’t choose what to eat.’