In an online survey conducted amongst 5 000 young adults living in all areas of South Africa, over 90% expressed that they were worried about the effects of climate change.
The study aimed to determine what percentage of young adults were aware that the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) was taking place in Durban, and to evaluate their position on climate change in general. The survey was run by research firm Pondering Panda, and carried out over Mxit, Africa’s largest social network.
79% of South African youth claimed to be aware of COP17.
Of the 90% that expressed concern over climate change, 59% said they were very worried about climate change, while 31% said they were a little worried. 10% of respondents said that they were not worried at all.
‚The results of the survey are very encouraging. They show that South African youth are as concerned about the world’s need to mitigate and adapt to climate changes as any other age group in the country. The fact that our youth are also aware of COP17 illustrates their concern for their own future. The youth are the future of this country. Their interest shows that it would make sense for government and relevant climate change organisations to work at continuing to include the youth segment in their discussions and forums,‚ says Butch Rice of Pondering Panda.
In distinguishing between cultural backgrounds, the survey found that Afrikaans respondents were the least likely to describe themselves as being very worried.
There was no significant difference between gender and age groups in terms of worry about climate change.