Survey: Slovenia’s youth less worried about climate change than European peers

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Ljubljana – Slovenia’s youth aged between 15 and 35 see climate change as the third worst global problem after environmental pollution and poverty. The European survey Climate of Change also shows that 36% of them are very or extremely worried about climate change, which is 10 percentage points below the average of 23 European countries.

The other young Europeans meanwhile see climate change as the most pressing global problem, shows the survey, which polled over 22,000 young, of whom 1,017 in Slovenia.

But this does not mean the young in Slovenia are not aware of the serious consequences of climate change, Manca Šetinc Vernik from NGO Humanitas said on Wednesday. She argued that environmental degradation and poverty are closely linked with climate change.

What is more, three-quarters (76%) are willing to take action to fight climate change in a bid to encourage others to take action.

The Slovenian youth believe the greatest responsibility to take action lies with companies and industry (55%), the EU (44%), governments (42%) and themselves (33%).

The survey also shows a low level of awareness about climate migration among Slovenian young, with 75% knowing little about them or not being familiar with the concept.

51% believe rich and poor countries should share the burden of reduction of the impact of climate change, while 37% said the burden should be taken on by rich countries, as opposed to 43% in all 23 countries.

Slovenian youths are meanwhile critical about today’s economic model: 83% said consumer habits are not sustainable and 74% said economy mainly benefits the rich.

The youth strongly support measures to fight climate change, with 78% saying a government plan not dealing with climate change means politicians are not willing to lend an ear to common people.

However, Slovenian youth are not willing to considerably change their lifestyles, yet 71% voted or would vote for politicians who prioritise climate change, migration and climate migration.

“The young in Slovenia are aware that our development model is not sustainable. But the knowledge of issues of climate and environmental migrations is far from satisfactory,” said Živa Kavka Gobbo from NGO Focus.

The survey is part of Climate of Change, a pan-European project to better inform the young about climate change. It involves 16 NGOs, including Platforma Sloga, a Slovenian network of NGOs.