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Over two-thirds of young people are experiencing eco-anxiety as green group launch campaign to turn anxiety into action

news release
21st Jan 2020

A massive 70% of 18-24-year olds are more worried about climate change than they were a year ago, according to a national YouGov poll commissioned by climate campaign group Friends of the Earth.

The findings coincide with the launch of a short film starring Top Boy’s Jasmine Jobson, called ‘We’ve All Been There’, with a voice-over by Russell Tovey. The film uses comedy to show that many of us experience anxiety around doing the right thing by the environment but there are tangible solutions we can take together to turn anxiety into action. It’s part of Friends of the Earth’s campaign to ‘Take Back Tomorrow’ fighting climate breakdown.

See film here. Download stills here

What we do in the next few years will determine the future of our world. We know the solutions to climate chaos and there’s still time to act – just. But we need to work together if we’re to convince our government to legislate against climate breakdown.

Aaron Kiely, climate campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said:

“As the group of people most likely to see the worsening effects of climate chaos it’s not surprising that a surge of younger people is increasingly concerned, especially in the face of government inaction.

“We can all experience climate guilt over what can feel our personal responsibility to save the planet. It’s ok to admit that climate change is causing anxiety because it genuinely is a crisis, but we shouldn’t have to feel alone and just shut down. The best thing any of us can do is connect with others and put pressure on government to prioritise climate action so we can all take back tomorrow.”

Sanjay Singh, senior programmes manager at People’s Postcode Lottery, whose players have raised over £7million to support Friends of the Earth and help set up local climate campaigning groups across the country, said:

“The climate and nature crises need action now if we’re going to avoid it getting any worse. It’s no surprise that young people are worried, but the key is to do something because there is still time left.”

Friends of the Earth are helping people join forces to start meaningful change in their communities. You can discover the various practical ways to get involved by joining or starting a local climate action group: https://takeclimateaction.uk/get-involved

ENDS

For more information and interview requests contact the Friends of the Earth press office on 020 7566 1649 / 07718 394786 (out of hours – please do not text this number) media@foe.co.uk.

Notes to editors:

  1. Survey data from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,024 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3rd- 6th January 2020.  The survey was carried out online and figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).  Full table attached. Results for Friends of the Earth (Eco Anxiety) 5 6.1.2020.xlsx
  2. Friends of the Earth is an international community dedicated to the protection of the natural world and the wellbeing of everyone in it. We bring together more than two million people in 75 countries, combining people power all over the world to transform local actions into global impact. For more information visit: friendsoftheearth.uk follow us at @friends_earth, or like our Facebook page
  3. Friends of the Earth’s climate campaign is supported by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery

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