In Africa 8 in 10 youths worried by climate change

Survey on millennials in 19 countries including Algeria and Morocco

Eight in 10 young Africans are convinced that climate change has a negative impact on their lives, according to the first pan African study on climate change released on Tuesday by South Africa’s GC Consulting.

About seven in 10 consider access to water and the development of renewable energy as the most important initiatives to fight global warming and over half accused governments of not doing enough to fight against the effects of global warming, said the study.

The research was commissioned following the UN climate conference held in November in Marrakech that was carried out on a sample of young people born between 1980 and 2000, the so-called ‘millennials’ from 19 countries including Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, the Ivory Coast, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The new generations are aware of damage and have no intention of remaining inactive, according to the study. A reported 69% of those polled said they would like to take action, especially through recycling.

Many were also in favor of recycling waste material (65%) and for a reduced use of plastic containers (64%).

The sample was selected in both urban and rural areas with a majority of men (55%), equally distributed among age groups 18-22 (25%), 22-26 (36%) e 27-30 (39%), with 1,156 answers.

Drought, fires, inundations, violent climate change were among changes listed as a consequence of global warming.

About 86% of those interviewed noticed more frequent and unpredictable rain, 79% reported an increase in diseases for cattle, plants; 77% spoke about an increase of desertification; 73% registered more forest fires.

About 76% of those interviewed said governments needed to act first against global warming, although 53% said citizens also did not do enough. They suggested alternatives at an international level, for example within the African Union (75%) and more in general by international organizations (73%), or at a sub-national level by private agencies (69%) and NGOs. Nine out of 10 millennials in Africa (94%) cited renewable energy as a priority. For 92%, access to clean drinking water was also a priority. Mainly informed by traditional media (48%), more than the internet and social networks (15%), they highlighted the small role played by schools and universities in educating them on environmental issues (13%).


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