A new poll conducted for Unicef has found that three-quarters of British children ages 11 to 16 are worried about climate change and want the government to take greater action against a warming world.
The kids weren't only worried about how climate change would affect them at home. The poll also found that two-thirds of British schoolchildren are concerned about how climate change will impact both kids and families in the developing world.
The survey wasn't exclusive to kids. It also polled parents and grandparents, 58% of whom said they felt that their children would grow up in a different world as a result of climate change. More than 60% of adults said they thought the government should take greater action against global warming.
"This survey shows that there is a desire amongst Britons, young and old, for our government to show strong leadership and take decisive action on climate change," Unicef UK executive director David Bull said in a prepared statement. Bull called for the UK government to commit new levels of funding for the Green Climate Fund, part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that is designed to help the developing world adapt to climate change. "By committing its fair share of new money to the Green Climate Fund to help children adapt to the effects of climate change," Bull said, "the UK Government can make sure children everywhere have enough nutritious food to eat, grow up to fulfill their potential and do not pay for our past mistakes with their futures."
Ironically, this new poll comes less than one month after a draft of new national curriculum guidelines proposed removed discussion of climate change from the classes of students under the age of 14. Environmentalists and scientists have heavily criticized the move, calling it political and short-sighted. "It appears climate change is being systematically removed from the curriculum, which is not acceptable when this is the biggest challenge our generation is going to face, the biggest challenge future generations are going to focus on," Camilla Born, an expert with the UK Youth Climate Coalition, told The Guardian last month.
Britons have not been happy about the proposed curriculum changes. On Monday a 15-year-old student and a geography teacher delivered two separate petitions carrying 65,000 signatures to the Department of Education. The department, meanwhile, denies that climate change will be removed from next year's curriculum.
The new Unicef poll was released to coincide with a two-day conference in Dublin where delegates from 60 nations met to discuss the link between climate change and world hunger. Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, said at the conference that his country dedicates 20% of its overseas budget to fighting hunger, especially for mothers and children, "but as climate change increases the frequency and severity of droughts and floods and makes food more difficult to produce, we need innovative solutions to support communities on the frontline."
Related on MNN: 37% of Americans think global warming is a hoax