Co-op research shows 76% of young people concerned about UK meeting net zero targets

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Research commissioned by Co-op supermarket suggests that over three quarters (76%) of young people are concerned about the UK meeting its net zero targets.

Of those 16-24 year olds surveyed by the Co-op Foundation, over nine in ten (91%) expressed that they believe young people should be involved in decisions on how to reduce the UK’s emissions.

Following the survey, which saw the young people call for greater government transparency to ensure a just transition, a conversation will be held at both Conservative and Labour conferences.

Taking part in the discussion will be a range of MPs from both parties, Co-op Group CEO Shirine Khoury-Haq and managing partner at the firm which conducted the research Basis Social, Dan Clay.

The survey showed that most (72%) young people see the transition to net zero as an opportunity for their generation, but over half do not know how to get involved.

In addition, almost three quarters (73%) are concerned that the transition to net zero will widen the class divide, and a quarter (25%) felt that those on lower incomes would feel the brunt of changing to more sustainable lifestyles more.

One in ten (12%) also expressed concerns over the affordability of sustainability, with cost of living being cited as the main concern.


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“It couldn’t be clearer from this research that young people from all backgrounds care about climate change, despite other challenges they are experiencing at the moment,” said Khoury-Haq.

“We’ve been campaigning for a just transition to Net Zero for a number of years, and while there will be many exciting opportunities as we progress on that journey, leaders in every sphere will need to ensure that fairness is a central consideration in that decisions need to be taken.”

Co-op chief executive Nick Crofts added: “At the Co-op Foundation we’re aware of the importance of youth leadership to develop a fairer and more sustainable world for future generations.”

“It’s brilliant to see that young people want to become more involved in the transition towards Net Zero, and we want them to be able to take the lead on developing a more equitable and sustainable society.”

Dan Clay added: “Hats off to the Co-op Foundation for commissioning this vitally important research”.

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