African Youth Survey Special Climate Edition Across 15 African Countries Reveal High Levels of Climate Concerns and Dissatisfaction with Government Response
Johannesburg, South Africa, 7th of December 2021. Following the recent 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, findings of the African Youth SurveySpecial Climate Edition reveal that nearly three quarters (72%) of Africa’s young people consider climate change a key concern to their future (highest levels of concern in Malawi, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia), while only 46% of respondents are satisfied with their government’s handling of the crisis (dissatisfaction highest in South Africa, Angola, Sudan, Nigeria).
Commissioned by the Ichikowitz Family Foundation, a leading African NGO, the Youth Survey of 4,500 face-to-face interviews with 18-24 year old’s revealed that:
- 78% are worried about increasing levels of pollution (Most concerned including Ghana – 92%, Ethiopia – 89% and Rwanda – 88%)
- 72% are highly concerned with the increasing frequency and severity of extreme environmental events (Top countries including Rwanda – 90%, Ghana – 89% and Ethiopia – 88%)
- 77% are concerned that climate change will lead to an increase in infestation and crop destruction from insects (Greatest concern expressed from Ethiopia – 91%, Malawi – 91% and Kenya 88%)
- 74% worry that climate change is destroying natural habitats critical for wildlife, farming, or living (Countries indicating greatest worry including Ethiopia – 87%, Malawi – 86% and Rwanda – 83%)
- 72% are concerned by extreme heat waves or cold spells that last for abnormally long periods (Top countries including Ghana – 85%, Kenya – 85% and the DRC – 80%)
In step with those concerns, Africa’s youth, according to the Survey, want to see their governments doing more to address climate change, doing more to reduce carbon emissions and doing more to adopt green energy solutions.
- 85% of African youth polled believe that their government needs to be more proactive in addressing climate change (Top countries including Rwanda – 99%, Ethiopia – 95% and Malawi – 95%)
- 84% believe their governments should be working harder to adopt green energy solutions (Top countries including Rwanda – 98%, Malawi – 95% and Ethiopia – 94%)
- 81% believe that their governments ultimately need to make a more concerted effort to reducing carbon emissions (Top countries including Rwanda – 97%, Ethiopia – 94% and Malawi – 93%)
Ivor Ichikowitz, Chairman of the Ichikowitz Foundation and sponsor of the African Youth Survey, stated that, “Over a quarter-century after COP was established, Africa tragically remains the most vulnerable continent to climate change, while contributing the least emissions. Our research shows that Africa’s youth are at the forefront of experiencing the consequences of climate change in their daily lives. Droughts, flooding, extreme temperatures, and destruction of natural habitats – climate change is already a devastating force affecting communities across Africa.
“It is however a positive sign that such a high percentile of Africa’s young people, the continent’s future decision-makers, are today speaking with one voice in demanding real action against the threat of climate change and challenging the world to follow suit. This is a motivating force for us; this is why we carry out the African Youth Survey each year; to give a strong voice to this demographic who are the most at risk of climate change inaction.”
Not only expressing trepidation about the impact on their surrounding communities and future generations on the continent, Africa’s young people feel strongly that climate change will harm them personally.
How Much Do You Think Climate Change Will….