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Climate change and employment top UK concerns for next generation, new poll finds

A new poll has found that climate change, matched only by employment opportunities, tops the UK population’s biggest concerns for the next generation - above mental health, personal debt, loneliness and house prices.

13 Dec 2020

The study, conducted by Savanta ComRes and commissioned by international relief and development agency Tearfund, was released to coincide with the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement and the Climate Ambition Summit yesterday, co-hosted by the UK.

Dr Ruth Valerio, director of global advocacy and influencing at Tearfund, said:

“2020 has been a year of crisis for us all, but it's clear that though we are all in the same storm, we are in different boats. The poorest communities continue to be disproportionately affected by the climate emergency – while there has been progress, climate change must remain a primary concern, both for our own children and grandchildren – and the most vulnerable around the world.

“With less than 12 months to go before the UK hosts the UN global climate change conference (COP26) in Glasgow, we need the UK to lead by example, setting out well-funded green recovery policies that meet these ambitions.”

The report also found that women (75%) are more likely to see climate change as a concern than men (67%) and that concern increased slightly with age, with 74% of those aged 55+ seeing it as a concern, compared to 71% of those aged 35-54 and 66% of those aged 18-34.

Commenting on the five year anniversary of the Paris Agreement, Dr Valerio added:

“While there are good signs of progress in the fight against climate change, five years on from the Paris Agreement, many of the predictions I was reading and warning about more than 20 years ago are coming to fruition and it grieves me deeply that more people are going hungry, extreme weather events are becoming more frequent, and communities are being displaced.”

Tearfund is calling on Boris Johnson to use the post COVID-19 recovery to close the gap between current policy and our climate targets, creating a healthier, greener, fairer future. The public can add their name to The Climate Coalition’s Declaration by visiting


For further information, photos, case studies and interview requests please contact: Melissa Barnston, Tearfund T: 07929 335 146 or Gareth Russell, Jersey Road PR T: 07967 468008. For out-of-hours media enquiries please call 07929 339813.

Notes to editors

Tearfund is a Christian relief and development agency and a member of the Disasters’ Emergency Committee and The Climate Coalition (TCC). Tearfund has been working around the world for more than 50 years responding to disasters and helping lift communities out of poverty. For more information about the work of Tearfund, please visit

Savanta ComRes surveyed 2,178 UK adults online between 27-29 November 2020. Data were weighted to be nationally representative of all UK adults by age, gender region and social grade. Full data tables are available at


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