22 May 2024, 13:14
Julian Wettengel

One in five teenagers in Germany have never heard of climate change – survey

Clean Energy Wire

About one in five teenagers in Germany say they have never heard of climate change or the climate crisis, according to a survey conducted by the International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television (IZI), which is a department of public broadcaster Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation (BR). "This means that these young people are entering their adult lives and the voting phase without having heard about one of the most threatening crises for humanity and the world in which they live," said the survey report. Among young children aged 6-7 years, 27 percent said they have heard of the terms and the share increased to 57 percent for 10-11 year-olds. Among teenagers (12-19 years), around 80 percent said they are familiar with the concept.

The survey shows that almost all youngsters who have heard of climate change also have at least a basic understanding of what is happening, what causes it, and who is responsible, with only little difference between the age groups. Differences in understanding were small between children in elementary school and those in secondary school. When asked about what they can personally do to mitigate climate change, about half of the children and teenagers named measures in transport, such as driving the car less, taking the bicycle, or not flying as frequently. Asked about what politicians could do, transport was also the focus (45% of replies), with suggestions such as expanding public transport, banning petrol cars, and supporting electric mobility. For the survey, almost 1,500 young people in Germany between the ages of 6 and 19 were interviewed.

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