A third of people are changing their plans for the future because of climate change

30 per cent of the world's inhabitants feel distressed about the future, ‘often’ think about climate change, and are considering giving up long term goals like having children
30 per cent of the world's inhabitants feel distressed about the future, ‘often’ think about climate change, and are considering giving up long term goals like having children   -   Copyright  Canva
By Charlotte Elton

Nearly a third of people are considering putting off major life events due toclimate change fears, a new survey reveals.

As the climate crisis bites, it can be hard to imagine what the future might look like.

This uncertainty - and the fear that the environment will continue to deteriorate - is taking its toll.

A new survey of 25,000 people - conducted across 25 countries by research firm Elabe and water, waste and energy management company Veolia - reveals the extent of this anxiety.

30 per cent of the world's inhabitants feel distressed about the future, ‘often’ think about climate change, and are considering giving up long term goals like having children.

“[This number rises to more than] 33 per cent in Poland, Indonesia, Japan, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and up to 58 per cent in India,” the survey reads.

In the United States, 25 per cent of respondents felt the grip of this severe eco-anxiety.

A feeling of extreme fragility now unites some of the most historically fragile nations and developed countries, the report says.

What else does the survey reveal about long term habits

Eco-anxiety refers to feelings of stress and fear about the future of the planet.

As patterns of severe weather become more frequent - and the headlines are filled with news of intense floods, fires and droughts - it’s becoming a common feeling.

Canva
Increasing numbers of people are feeling the toll of eco-anxiety, surveys show.Canva

The survey reveals that it can also have a huge impact on how people plan their lives.

But it’s not all doom and gloom as it also reveals growing support for climate action.

75 per cent of the world's inhabitants now believe that climate change is being caused by humans.

This large majority believes in collective action to reduce its implications: 55 per cent think that we need to change the way we live, alongside implementing technological solutions.

67 per cent of the world's population are convinced that the consequences of climate change and pollution will cost morer than the investments needed for ecological transformation.

60 per cent of the population is also convinced that we have the future in our hands.

The need for this mass support could not be more urgent. Recent studies have revealed that the Earth is on the brink of dangerous ‘tipping points’ that could push up global warming irreversibly.

Which country has the most sceptics about climate change?

Though three-quarters of people recognise that climate change is caused by humans, this belief is not evenly spread.

The Netherlands, Finland, the USA, Nigeria, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have the highest percentage of deniers.

Up to 41 per cent of Saudis believe that either that nothing is happening (15 per cent), that it is a natural phenomenon (16 per cent) or that it is impossible to know (10 per cent).