New Poll: Young Americans Believe the Environment Should be the Top International Issue for the U.S. to Address
September 12, 2018
As mayors, governors, advocates, and business leaders convene in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS), a new poll commissioned by the United Nations Foundation and Better World Campaign finds that nearly four in ten young Americans (Generation Z and Millennials) see “environmental issues such as pollution, health of the planet, and oceans” as the most important international issue for the United States to address this year. “Human Rights issues such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press” ranked closely second.
“Not only are young people concerned about the health of the planet, the poll also finds that they are ready to mobilize on issues that affect all citizens of the world,” said Kathy Calvin, President of the UN Foundation. “When looking to solve the problems of today and tomorrow, Millennials and Generation Z must be brought in as leaders at the table. We need to listen to their opinions and ideas if we are going to reach a future that leaves no one behind.”
When these generations think about global advocacy, 92 percent of them agreed that they would be willing to act in some capacity. The poll found that they are most willing to donate money, sign an online petition, join local or community organizations in support of a cause, or purchase/boycott a product.
Despite their willingness to engage and take action on global issues, these generations do not think elected officials care enough about what they think. In fact, only 44 percent believe elected officials care a great deal, fair or a moderate amount about what they think. But the poll also found that 64 percent of young Americans believe they have a great deal, fair, or a moderate amount of influence on what the government does.
“The bottom line is that politicians should listen up. This is a major voting bloc and they are intent on change,” added Peter Yeo, President of the Better World Campaign.
Public Opinion Strategies and Hart Research Associates conducted a national online survey among 1,501 adults and registered voters ages 17-35 (Generation Z and Millennials). All respondents who completed the survey ages 18+ are registered voters. The survey was conducted August 2-10, 2018. The confidence interval for a sample size of N=1,501 is +2.88%.
Learn more about the poll. Additional findings from this extensive survey of young Americans will be released in mid-September.
About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by philanthropic, corporate, government, and individual donors. Learn more at: www.unfoundation.org.