The research reveals that a third of Generation Z (32% of those aged 18-24) and Millennials (34% of those aged 25-40) think that ‘for a lot of environmental problems, it’s already too late to make a difference’. This drops to 19% when looking at Generation X (aged 41-54) and 17% amongst Baby Boomers (aged 55+).
Even worse, one in six of Generation Z (16%) and 18% of Millennials think there is no point in doing anything about climate change more broadly, as it’s already too late to save the planet. By comparison, only 8% of Generation X and 4% of Baby Boomers agree. Across all age groups, men (14%) are twice as likely as women (7%) to see climate change as a lost cause. A similar number of younger UK adults – 15% of Generation Z and 17% of Millennials – also think that they don’t need to do anything on climate change themselves because other people are working on it.
Again, only 7% of Generation X and 3% of Baby Boomers agree with that viewpoint. In fact, those two age groups are the most likely to agree with the statement that ‘I should do something about climate change because we can all make a difference’.
The report also found that more than one in five UK adults (22%) believe businesses use environmentally friendly credentials to promote their image without taking real action, while more than half (52%) believe the world will fail to meet the goal of limiting global warming to below two degrees Celsius set by the Paris Agreement.
In addition, nearly half (47%) think it’s unlikely that the UK will hit its target of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.
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