Most young adults in Europe want to be involved in action to tackle climate change and have little faith in current leaders to take significant climate action. To best communicate with young adults, build awareness and understanding of what climate justice really means, use language that connects rather than divides, and focus on ideas, inspiration and infrastructure for building action. Survey results show that almost one in 10 respondents said they would be prepared to break the law to tackle climate change, and a large majority (81%) agreed that we need a social transformation – changing our economy, how we travel, live, produce and consume – in order to tackle climate change.
However, there were also some contradictions and gaps in their understanding of the issue: most did not draw a connection between someone’s gender or racialization and their likelihood of being impacted by climate change. Smaller “workshop” conversations showed concerned young adults: agree that climate change is a systemic problem but may struggle to know what the solutions are and to see themselves in them; think that the status quo isn’t working and want to see big changes, but frequently feel powerless to bring this about; care about social justice issues like racism and sexism, but don’t readily connect them to climate change; think responsibility lies at the top but don’t believe their government will do the right thing; want more balance in who has power and voice, but don’t like language about taking power or resources away from anyone; see that climate change has roots in the past but many want to look forward rather than back; believe some actors are more culpable than others but often raised questions about the theory and reality of paying compensation for loss and damages resulting from climate change.
Find the link to the 2023 how-to guide here: https://climateoutreach.org/reports/climate-justice-messaging-guide/#
They also produced a short animated video to illustrate the key points in the messaging guide.