SustainabilityClimate and environmental protection are particularly important for young people

Today, the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) and the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) published the results of a representative youth study, which revealed that young people identified environmental and climate protection as one of the major challenges in Germany.

For this study, the Institute for Ecological Economic Research was commissioned to survey more than 1,000 young people in Germany between the age of 14 and 22 regarding issues of the environment, climate, politics, and commitment in spring 2019.

These are further details:

  • More than three quarters of respondents consider environmental and climate protection to be 'very important' (45 percent) or 'rather important' (33 percent).

  • At the time of the survey, 80 percent of respondents knew about the Fridays for Future movement and around a quarter had already participated in one of its climate strikes.

  • Environmental and climate protection also have a positive impact on social goals in the view of the respondents. For 65 percent of those surveyed, it is particularly significant that without sufficient environmental and climate protection, future generations might face massive environmental problems. In addition, environmentally friendly products should also be affordable for financially disadvantaged people.

  • Young people consider digitization as an opportunity as well as a risk for environmental and climate protection. Social media provide great information and exchange services, however, online shopping is seen to have a detrimental effect on the environment due to transport and packaging.

Svenja Schulze, Federal Environment Minister, commented: “Young people are much more political than many have believed for a long time. Climate and environmental protection play an important role for the vast majority of young people. For more than a year now, they were out on the streets demonstrating not only on Fridays. They get involved and network, they are aware of the responsibility of their actions for the future and often have a very practical approach to climate and environmental protection. Above all, many recognize that climate and environmental protection must be designed in a socially just manner. This awareness among young people will provide environmental policy in Germany with a lot of tailwind in the coming decades."

Source: BMU & UBA

More information and the report