An Ipsos-MORI survey published today shows that children in Britain are deeply concerned about the impact of climate change, both for their own futures and for those of children in developing countries.
The poll, commissioned by leading children’s organisation UNICEF UK, found that almost three-quarters of young people aged 11-16 years are concerned about how climate change will impact on their lives and would like the UK Government to do more to combat it.
Of a representative online sample of 1001 children across Britain;
74% agreed that they are worried about how climate change will affect the future of the planet and believe the world will have changed as a result of climate change by the time they are adults. Just 6% disagreed with these statements. 72% agreed that they want the Government to do more to tackle climate change. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of young people were worried about how climate change will affect other children and families in developing countries. Awareness of climate change among the young people was high with 88% of those surveyed claiming to know at least a little about it and just 1% saying they knew nothing about climate change.
As well as polling young people, a representative sample of 2004 adults were also surveyed. Parents and grandparents expressed less concern about climate change than young people, but nonetheless, over half (58%) agreed that the effects of climate change will mean their children will not grow up in the same natural environment as they did and 61% agreed that the UK Government should take more action to combat climate change.
The findings come as government representatives from around Europe are meeting in Dublin for a two-day conference on hunger, nutrition and climate justice. Edward Davey, secretary of state for energy and climate change, will be there alongside important international figures including UNICEF’s Executive Director, Anthony Lake, Mary Robinson and Al Gore.
David Bull, UNICEF UK’s Executive Director, said today:
“The results of this survey offer a timely reminder to politicians gathering this week in Dublin that climate change is an issue of tremendous concern to Britons and casts a long shadow over young people’s view of their future. But it is clear from this survey that young people are not only concerned about their own future. 63% of them expressed concern about the impact climate change is having on children in less developed countries where climate change is a key driver of hunger and malnutrition.
Each year two million children die because they can't get enough food to eat and the lives of a further 165 million children are blighted by chronic under-nutrition. Rising temperatures and variations in rainfall combined with increasingly frequent and severe natural disasters are making it harder for families to get enough nutritious food. And as always it is children - those least responsible for climate change - who are the hardest hit.
This survey shows that there is a desire amongst Britons, young and old, for our Government to show strong leadership and take decisive action on climate change. By committing its fair share of new money to the Green Climate Fund to help children adapt to the effects of climate change, the UK Government can make sure children everywhere have enough nutritious food to eat, grow up to fulfil their potential and do not pay for our past mistakes with their futures. Our leaders must be told that they need to act now. Go to UNICEF’s website to find out more.”
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1. A representative quota sample of 2,004 adults aged 15+ was interviewed throughout Great Britain by Ipsos MORI between 22 March to 10 April 2013. Interviews were carried out using CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) technology, face-to-face, in respondents’ homes, and across over 200 ward-based sampling points on the Ipsos MORI Omnibus Survey. Data have been weighted by gender, age, social grade, region, working status, and ethnicity to reflect the national population profile.
An online survey was also conducted amongst 1,001 young people aged 11 to 16 between 22 March to 28 March 2013. These young people are part of an online community and so all questions were self-completed online. These data have been weighted by gender, age, social grade and region to reflect the national demographics of this population.
2. A new policy briefing from UNICEF UK, Climate change, food systems and children: a case for greater action sets out the link between changes in climate, reduced agricultural yields and poor nutrition for children in low income countries.
2. UNICEF UK is calling on the UK Government to commit its fair share of new money to the Green Climate Fund to help children adapt to the effects of climate change and to help stop children going hungry. UNICEF UK thinks this money should come from new sources like a tax on dirty fuel used by supertankers. Go to www.unicef.org.uk to find out more.
3. The conference, Hunger, Nutrition and Climate Justice: Making Connections for a More Sustainable World’ will take place in Dublin Castle, 15-16th April. Among those attending are UNICEF’s Executive Director, Anthony Lake, Ed Davey MP, Mary Robinson and Al Gore.
4. Today UNICEF UK as part of the Enough Food For Everyone IF coalition have launched an online petition calling on Edward Davey to press the case with other government colleagues to make good on the government’s climate cash promise, ahead of key meetings in May and June. http://www.unicef.org.uk/enough-food-for-everyone-if/act-now-on-climate-change/
For more information or an interview with a UNICEF spokesperson, please contact: Stefan Simanowitz 0207 375 6077
UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights in more than 190 countries. As champion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF works to help every child realise their full potential. Together with our partners, UNICEF delivers health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, while working with governments to ensure they deliver on their promise to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals, governments, institutions and corporations, and is not funded by the UN budget. For more information, please visit www.unicef.org.uk