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Do attitudes towards climate change vary with age in Spain?

Toni Rodon, Universitat Pompeu Fabra; Marc Guinjoan, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

This research has focused on understanding the attitudes of Spanish citizens towards climate change, laying special emphasis on the differences that exist between young people as a group and the rest of the population. The results, based on a survey of 5,000 people representative of the Spanish population, show that a large part of Spain’s population considers that climate change is above all or solely the result of human activity, a position that is stronger among younger people. The survey also reveals that young people tend to be more concerned about climate change, and that they usually attach greater importance to climate change than to the economic situation. Finally, most young people consider that both they and older people have to make a similar effort to fight climate change, a position that contrasts with that of people aged over 32 years, who consider that it is precisely young people who must commit to making greater efforts.
Key points
  • 1
       Over 7 out of every 10 young people consider that climate change is above all or solely the result of human activity. The rest think that climate change is the result of natural processes as much as of human activity.
  • 2
       Some 41% of people aged between 16 and 25 years and 35% of those aged between 26 and 32 years consider that climate change is among the three greatest problems today. The prioritisation of the environment is much lower among people aged over 32 years.
  • 3
       All age groups tend to slightly prioritise climate change over the economic situation, a tendency a little more marked among young people aged up to 25 years.
  • 4
       The majority of young people think that both they and older people have to make a similar effort to fight climate change. In contrast, respondents aged over 32 years consider that the effort made by young people should be greater.
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