Public Resource
From Eco-Anxiety to Eco-Optimism: Listening to a Generation of Resilient Youth
Today’s young people experience the impact of climate change on their communities every day, both at their doorsteps and in the media they consume. Global headlines have increasingly used the term “eco-anxiety” to describe a generalized fear of environmental doom. Yet few are telling the story of the optimism and action that define how young people want to deal with it. This survey found that more than half of these youth across the globe (57%) experience eco-anxiety. However, they aren’t letting their anxiety spiral into despair, or worse, apathy. Instead, threats of climate change drive their resilience, optimism and activism. Though this resilient mindset is positive, a gap remains between young people in this survey who identify as eco-optimists and eco-realists (a combined 66%) and those taking direct action in their own communities (just 16%). For those working to counter and mitigate the effects of climate change, it is clear we need to do more to foster agency among young people and create direct opportunities for young people to participate in and drive climate solutions. This research surveyed youth in many countries around the world.