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After COP21: Climate Change Is an Opportunity For Youth

With COP21 wrapped up and an historical agreement reached, there is no better time to look toward the future and understand future generations’ views and expectations about climate and their job situation. To that end, Nielsen worked on Scenario 2015, a survey of 6,000 young people between the ages of 18 and 29 in 12 countries around the world giving them a chance to voice their opinion. The results were shared during COP21 in Paris.

For the young survey respondents, climate upheavals represent a major opportunity to take concrete measures to combat youth unemployment all over the world. In fact, 84% of respondents aged 18-29 believe that combining economic development with environmental protection is possible. This is a clear shift from the pessimism that can sometimes be heard in public opinion.

Young people tend to see climate change more as an opportunity (60%) rather than a threat (40%) for social and economic development. Nine out of 10 also believe that job markets will change due to climate change: a majority of them (83%) believes that these changes will lead to the creation of new jobs rather than the elimination of existing positions (59%).

Of those surveyed, 44% stated that the possibility of acting against climate change was one of the guiding factors in their choice of professional orientation and future employers. However, almost half of the respondents (46%) felt that their education has not sufficiently prepared them for these changes.

“It was natural for us to bring our contribution to the COP21 discussions in order to inform the participants and decision makers who can count on the youth for carrying climate change and give it meaning during their professional choices,” Laurence Besançon, senior vice president, Europe public development and sustainability, Nielsen.

Above all, youths today have clear expectations regarding those who are molding the world today that they will inherit tomorrow—a strong call for action for all parties!

Note on Scenario 2015

The Scenario 2015 project has been carried out by Nomadeis, a sustainable development consulting firm, in conjunction with AXA and Nielsen, with further support from Mazars and Saint-Gobain. The 12 countries in the survey were G7 and BRICS: South Africa, Germany, Brazil, Canada, China, U.S., France, India, Italy, Japan, U.K., and Russia. Labeled a COP21 project upon the decision of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, Scenario 2015 has been a centerpiece at various points during the Conference, on Dec. 8 at the Grand Palais, Paris, in the Comité 21/Club France reserved space, then in Le Bourget at the Espaces Générations Climat, room 8, and also on December 11 at Le Bourget, EU Pavilion.