Young people want more climate change education

Young people are calling for more education on climate change, with new research showing more than 2.5 million 7-17 year olds want increased teaching on the issue in school.
The research, commissioned by Zurich Insurance ahead of its first Youth Against Carbon Conference (YAC Con) next month, finds over one third (32%) of 7-17 year olds want climate change and sustainability topics to be covered at school.
The poll also finds nearly a quarter (24%) of 7-17s think young voices are not currently being listened to in the climate change debate, with a high number showing support for quite drastic initiatives to reduce carbon emissions. Half (50%) of 7-17 year olds surveyed support a ban or limit on non-recyclable plastics, while 24% want businesses taxed according to their carbon emissions. Over one fifth (21%) also say they would support a fast fashion tax to raise funds to recycle, old and unwanted clothes.
A separate study (2) reveals more than a third (34%) of Briton’s worry climate change has been neglected during the Covid-19 pandemic, with nearly two thirds (62%) going on to say they believe reducing carbon emissions is as important as protecting public health. More than six in 10 (61%) want climate change to be treated as seriously as pandemics.
As a result of perceived inaction, seven in 10 (70%) Britons think it would be beneficial to maintain some of the measures imposed during lockdown, such as commuting less and restricting travel. Nearly two thirds (64%) would also support the introduction of mandatory work from home days.
Laura McAlpine, Head of Sustainability at Zurich, commented: “Climate change presents a threat to our way of life - and one that is no less real as we navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic. While it’s important that we do all we can to help a safe return to normality, it’s clear that for most Brits, we must do this in a way that helps protect the environment.
“As insurers we take our role very seriously. We have an opportunity to help drive a sustainable Covid-19 recovery, to improve global resilience by building back better, supporting our customers and our communities.”
As part of its commitment to helping the transition to a low carbon economy and to give young people a greater voice, Zurich is organising the Youth Against Carbon Conference (YAC Con), the UK's first carbon-neutral eco-summit for young people.
Streamed lived on Tuesday 13th October at 6.30-7.00PM on Zurich UK’s Instagram (@zurich_uk) and Youtube channels, YAC Con will feature an all youth panel who will debate a range of topics, from lessons to be taken from Covid-19 lockdown measures to issues including fast fashion, food consumption, plastic usage, eco travel and transport pollution.  Chaired by TV Presenter Maddie Moate, the panel includes the teenage sisters Ella and Amy Meek, who founded eco-charity Kids Against Plastic, climate justice activist Mikaela Loach (22) and 18-year-old Mya-Rose Craig (aka Birdgirl), a prominent naturalist and chair of Black2Nature. The remaining seats on the panel will be filled by three young eco-activists, who have been selected following a competitive entry process.

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