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New study says Gen Z can shape the future they want

Young Australians are anxious about a climate crisis they didn’t cause and fear it will seriously limit their future prospects, a new study has revealed.

The Curtin University survey of Australian university Gen Z students shows 80% are nervous about what lies ahead because of climate change, saying they are either ‘concerned’ or ‘very concerned’ about the consequences it will have on their future.

“These young people are very concerned and, in a way, intimidated by the lack of concrete action being taken to battle climate change,” said Dora Marinova, Curtin Professor of Sustainability. “Gen Z has serious concerns which will not only impact their mental health — which will be something society and the public health system will have to deal with — but also the choices young people make: how they spend their money, whether they have families, their choice of career and more.”

Make a stand

GenZ are speaking up on social media, says Curtin Research Fellow Dr Diana Bogueva, with 35% also engaged in traditional climate activism. And Dr Bogueva believes young people can find a greater sense of agency by taking up more traditional types of activism.

“While the challenges of climate change can be scary it is not too late for Gen Z to make a difference fighting for a sustainable future,” she said. “Gen Z should consider participating in more traditional or mainstream areas of activism such as political campaigns to engage with policy makers and better connect with other generations to influence decision makers, to accelerate climate action, and help safeguard a liveable planet for all.”

Dr Bogueva added: “They can also be part of the solution in their personal lives, whether it’s choosing a career which has an impact or adjusting the products or food they consume.”

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Written By

Iain is a creative writer, journalist and lecturer, and formerly an editor of two international business publications. Iain is now editor of Innovators Magazine, as well as the strategic content director for OnePoint5Media.

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