Concerns about climate change do not undermine young people’s confidence in the future. This is how the annual Youth Barometer survey, which measures the values and attitudes of Finns aged 15-29, shows.
The study was conducted in early 2021, a year after the Covid-19 pandemic, and vaccinations entered the Finnish market.
The results came as a surprise to the chairman of the youth council Elisa Gebhard.
"Young people have already had hope that the pandemic will end and life will return to normal," Gebhard said.
Eighty percent of the young people surveyed liked it "to some measure" or "very optimistic" views on their own future and the future of Finland as a whole.
The state of the world’s future aroused less optimism, with only 38 percent of young people optimistic on this front.
Any concerns about the pre-war conflict in Ukraine are not included in the results.
Forces despite worries
The barometer results showed three-quarters of young people’s emotions "sad" loss of biodiversity.
Attitudes towards climate strikes and other direct political action varied. Younger respondents found such measures more effective than older respondents.
Gebhard pointed out that the young people studied are not a homogeneous group. For example, a 28-year-old fully employed respondent may have very different views than a 15-year-old who is still in school.
Finland’s role in the world
The annual survey also looked at how young people see Finland’s role in eradicating global poverty and protecting the planet.
The barometer asked respondents to prioritize the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a collection of 17 global goals designed to achieve a more sustainable future.
"Above all, the results show that, despite concerns about climate change, young people feel that they can make a difference through their own actions," Gebhard said.
The barometer surveyed 1,835 people by telephone between December 2020 and March 2021.
Source: The Nordic Page