We are more aware than we have ever been

Undoubtedly, environmental awareness plays a crucial role in global prosperity when natural resources are rapidly consumed and become unusable, and the climate crisis shows its dangerous face. Therefore, environmental awareness, which stands out as a concept that individuals and societies must hold on to, is vital for the future of our planet.

According to a global survey of nearly 10,000 people from 10 countries, young people are very concerned about climate change. The respondents are young, in the age range of 16-25. Close to 60 per cent of respondents said they were “very or extremely concerned” about climate change. Three-quarters of the respondents think that “the future is scary”, and more than half (56%) believe that “the end of humanity is coming”. We can say that this eco-anxiety situation paved the way for many people, especially young people, to become more conscious about the environment. 

Artwork by Anita Bagdi

anitab art

Artwork by Maria Clara

The Peoples’ Climate Vote, the world’s biggest-ever survey of public opinion on climate change, covers 50 countries with over half of the world’s population. The survey asked if climate change was a global emergency and whether they supported eighteen key climate policies across six action areas: economy, energy, transport, food & farms, nature and protecting people. Results demonstrate that people usually want more comprehensive climate policies than the current state regulations related to climate change and its effects. In this regard, support for conserving forests and land, renewable energy integrations, the usage of clean energy and public transportation with electricity, sustainable urbanised areas, and direct policies on greenhouse gas emissions were demanded from the governments. 

“The results of the survey clearly illustrate that urgent climate action has broad support amongst people around the globe, across nationalities, age, gender and education level. But more than that, the poll reveals how people want their policymakers to tackle the crisis. From climate-friendly farming to protecting nature and investing in a green recovery from COVID-19, the survey brings the voice of the people to the forefront of the climate debate. It signals ways in which countries can move forward with public support as we work together to tackle this enormous challenge,” says Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator.

Artwork by Anita Bagdi

Since climate change is a global problem, the struggle to be put forward in this context should also include international cooperation. Consequently, citizens’ awareness of climate change and social awareness must be high both in establishing, supporting and strengthening collaboration and in the success of policy actions in the local and national context. Furthermore, considering the fact that approximately 68% of the total population will live in cities in 2050 (UN, 2018), measuring the climate change awareness of the people living in cities and determining their awareness of climate change are of great value in the success of the policies, commitments and practices to be developed in the fight against climate change. 

Artwork by Dorothee Brunner

Photography and creation: Damian Siqueiros (@damiansiqueirosphoto

Performer: Claudia Chan Tak (@byebyelittlekitty)

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Deniz Saygi
Deniz Saygi

Deniz has been working related to the fields
of Climate Diplomacy, environmental policies, the rights of the indigenous
peoples, sustainable development, and circular economy. She has a specific
interest in the relationship between climate change and indigenous culture,
palaeontological roots of climate change, intersectional environmentalism,
and climate migration. Deniz currently is selected as the Max Thabiso
Edkins Climate Ambassador for the Global Climate Youth Network launched
by the World Bank Group.

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