Poll: A third of young people want more climate education at school in UK

UK survey of 7-17 year-olds also highlights concern their views are not listened to by policymakers on climate change and environmental issues

Almost a third of young people want sustainability and climate change to be covered in more detail at school, a UK survey of 7-17 year olds has found.

The poll, which was carried out by Censuswide on behalf of Zurich Insurance, also shows enthusiasm among young people for significant policy changes to prevent further damage to the climate.

Half of the young people polled supported restrictions on non-recyclable plastics, while 24 percent believed businesses should be taxed in accordance with their carbon emissions, and more than a fifth said they would support a tax on ‘fast fashion’, the survey results show.

Pubished today, the findings underline the high levels of concern among younger generations about climate change and a desire for further government intervention to avoid environmental catastrophe, yet one-in-four of those surveyed did not feel young peoples’ voices were being heard by policymakers on green issues.

Meanwhile, in a separate Opinium survey – which was also commissioned by the insurer – more than a third of 18-24 year-old Britons said they felt that efforts to tackle climate change had been neglected during the pandemic, with as much as 70 per cent supporting the extension of some Covid-19 lockdown measures to help combat climate change.

Laura McAlpine, head of sustainability at Zurich Insurance, said the survey results showed young Britons wanted the recovery from Covid-19 to support climate and environmental aciton.

“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,” she said. “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, she added. “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.”