Young people see climate change as top global challenge – survey

MANILA, Philippines – Most young people still believe that climate change or the destruction of natural resources is the top global challenge today, an international survey said.

Results of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Shapers Annual Survey 2017 released Monday, August 28 showed that 45% of young people consider climate change as one of the most serious issues affecting the world today.

This is the second year that millennials, who view themselves as "global citizens," consider climate change as the biggest global concern. 

Since 2015, the same year the first Global Shapers Annual Survey was published, several countries all over the world have already signed and ratified the Paris Agreement, a global climate pact which aims to keep global temperature rise this century to below 2ºC.

The agreement entered into force in November 2016.

The latest WEF report showed that next to climate change, the other top global challenges according to young people are large scale conflicts or war (38%), and religious conflicts (34%).

"These latter two results may be due to the spate of attacks witnessed during the year and during the months when the Survey was open," a 63-page WEF report on the survey read.

The survey secured 26,615 responses from young people (ages 18 to 35) in 187 countries and territories.

According to the report, respondents have "strong confidence" in international organizations to address these global issues. Their confidence in these organizations to tackle local issues, however, is low.

Asked what are the most serious issues affecting their country, 57% of the respondents answered corruption or government accountability. This is followed by unemployment and lack of economic opportunity (34%), and lack of education (30%).

In addition, young people believe the biggest driver of inequality in their country is corruption and the lack of transparency (58%), followed by access to good quality education (41%), and income (37%).

"Young people believe that the future they desire will only be built by operating with integrity, openness and transparency, and by being action-oriented," the report concluded. – Rappler.com

Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.

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