Climate change of least concern for Arab youth

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Climate change of least concern for Arab youth
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Dubai - Survey suggests a significant variation over level of concerns in different parts of the Arab World.

By Staff Reporter

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Published: Fri 18 Nov 2016, 4:15 PM

Last updated: Fri 18 Nov 2016, 6:40 PM

Global climate change ranks almost bottom of a list of concerns for young Arabs across the Middle East and North Africa, according to findings in the eighth annual ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2016.

Of the 27 issues included in the survey, concerns over "climate change and environment" placed 26th, above only "personal debt".

The issue that resonated most with young people was "the rise of Daesh", which 77 per cent of young Arabs said was a concern, compared to 54 per cent for climate change and the environment.

In the shadow of the 22nd Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), held in Marrakech, Morocco, from November 7-18, the Survey's findings suggest the UN still has much to do to encourage Arab Youth throughout the Middle East to become engaged with the environmental agenda.

The survey suggests a significant variation over level of concerns in different parts of the Arab World. For exampe, in the GCC, 51 per cent of young Arabs said they were not concerned about the environment and climate change, compared to 65 per cent in North Africa and 70 per cent in Morocco.

Arab youth are also ambivalent about their leaderships' ability to tackle climate change. When asked how confident they were in their national government's ability to deal with climate change, the percentage of young people in the GCC who expressed belief in their country's leadership was very high, at 78 per cent, compared to 50 per cent for Arabs, 36 per cent in North Africa and 29 per cent in the Levant.

"It is clearly worrying that young Arabs put such a low priority on climate change - something that has the potential to have a major impact on the Arab world," said Sunil John, Founder and CEO of ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller. "From the Sahara encroaching on farmland in North Africa; this year's heatwave in Iraq and the huge carbon footprints of GCC states, climate change and threats to the environment pose a very real danger to the region's future.

reporters@khaleejtimes.com



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