Four out of 10 young people view climate change as one of the most important issues, an Amnesty International survey on the state of human rights showed on Tuesday.
Amnesty International released the data obtained from its survey on Human Rights Day, taking 10,000 people aged between 18-25 in 22 countries across six countries, as its sample size. The respondents were given choices to select five major issues out of 23.
The combined result showed that 41 per cent youngsters picked climate change as the most important issue, making it the most commonly cited problem globally.
“For young people, the climate crisis is one of the defining challenges of their age,” said Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty’s outgoing secretary general, citing the change in approach from the earlier generations.
“This is a wake-up call to world leaders that they must take far more decisive action to tackle the climate emergency or risk betraying younger generations further,” he added.
This was followed by pollution and terrorism, voted by 36 and 31 per cent respondents, respectively.
However, the results varied at national level with corruption, pollution, economic stability and income inequality voted as the top four raging issues, closely followed by climate change in the fifth position.
When asked about who should bear the responsibility for protecting the environment, 54 per cent globally said governments, 28 per cent individuals and 14 per cent businesses.
Keeping the Fight Going
On Tuesday, a law firm representing 16 children from around the world, including Sweden’s activist Greta Thunberg, sent letters to the governments of Norway and Canada.
The letter alleged that two nations have breached the children’s rights under the UN convention on the Rights of Child.
“Expanding your oil and gas production will lock in decades of greenhouse gas emissions, jeopardizing the universal rights of all children to life, health, and culture,” said the letters.
The 16 children unit, also includes 14-year-old US activist Alexandria Villasenor. In September, she also filed the complaint with the UN on the Rights of the Child against five countries over their carbon emission.
The new letter came after the Philippines released the findings of its four-year-long inquiry in to human rights impact on climate change in the nation. The report named as many as 47 major companies that have played maximum role in emission of harmful gases.
“With the conclusion of this investigation, we believe many more communities will take a stand against fossil fuel companies that are putting profit before people,” Southeast Asia Executive Director Yeb Saño said.
The world is within the clutches of multiple crisis, with one issue giving rise to another, and putting a question mark on human survival the next day. Yet the only positive to build on remains the awareness amongst younger generations and the growing responsibility towards the environment.