Climate crisis: young Quebecers are the least optimistic

Crisis change: young Quebecers are the least optimistic

Greta Thunberg and demonstrators during the Great Climate March on September 27, in Montreal.

Young Quebecers are those who show the least optimism in Canada, in the face of the threat of the climate crisis that is looming for the next few decades. This is revealed by a Léger survey, conducted in the fall of 2022, among more than 3,000 Canadians aged 15 to 39.

According to the study, 80% believe that the situation will not improve, compared to 70% elsewhere in Canada. This eco-anxiety that overwhelms Quebec youth has real impacts on their daily lives according to several specialists. Some young people experience great psychological suffering while others are influenced by the climatic context when making major decisions for their future.

“You can have physiological signs such as shortness of breath, sweating, insomnia or even a lump in your stomach. Some will feel significant despair or pessimism about the future and life decisions,” says psychologist Inês Lopes, in an interview with La Canadian Press. “There's no denying the science, and eco-anxiety can impact career choice, study choice, and even personal finances,” she adds.

For example, according to figures, a quarter of Generation Z (25%) say they never want to have children, compared to almost one in five millennials. 44% of them believe that it is not responsible to bring a child into the world when a climate crisis has begun.

“I remember that in 2018, the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made me very uncertain about my own future, and I I had insomnia. I said to myself: what is my role as a mother if I have no confidence in the future? What image does that send to the child?” confides Alexandra Hénault, 21, in an interview with The Canadian Press.

Let us remember that in 2021 already, a Léger survey revealed that 73% of Quebecers aged 18 to 34, i.e. Generation Z and millennials, say they are eco-anxious.

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