Research reveals current climate engagement strategies are failing to reach young people

Posted on 30 Oct 2014 in

Today COIN releases ‘Young Voices’, a major new report looking at young people’s attitudes to climate change. Supported by the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics, it is the first study to ask young people themselves how to engage their peers more effectively, and to propose and test new climate change narratives specifically designed to engage 18-25 year olds.

Commenting on the study, Dr Adam Corner, COIN’s Research Director, said:

“Our research suggests that many young people care deeply and passionately about climate change. However, there has been a collective failure to talk to young people about climate change in a way that inspires them. Too many assumptions have been made by communicators, which haven’t been tested. Working directly with young people we have been able to trial a series of narratives about climate change, providing valuable insights for anyone interested in improving communication about climate change with this group.”

The findings revealed that many current climate engagement strategies may be failing to reach young people.

Some of the key findings and recommendations include:

  • For young people, climate change is fundamentally about the ‘here and now’
  • Young people want to hear how climate change relates to (and will affect) those aspects of their everyday lives that they are passionate about
  • Fighting organised scepticism is mostly seen as a waste of energy by young people
  • Young people often find it hard to talk about climate change with their peers
  • There is widespread doubt that there is a ‘concerned majority’ among the general public who support action on climate change
  • Young people have very little faith in mainstream politicians
  • Climate jargon is unfamiliar and off-putting

Download the report from the COIN website