Concern for Climate Change Directly Informs Youth Civic Engagement

Dec 14, 2023
  • Description

In December 2023, nations from around the world gathered at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28). The climate issue has been a central concern of young activists and voters in recent years, and ranked among the top 5 issues for youth in the months leading up to COP28.

Youth concern about climate presents an important opportunity to engage a diverse group of youth and support their leadership. However, we need to better understand the relationships different youth have to the issue and how their distinct attitudes and experiences, as well as differences in their backgrounds and access to resources, shape what it takes to involve them in meaningful action.

This report, based on new data from CIRCLE's nationally representative survey of young people (ages 18-34) ahead of the 2024 election, examined patterns in young people's relationship to climate change in order to inform how organizations communicate with and reach youth with an understanding of how different youth approach this critical global issue. Our analysis identified four groups of youth whose connection—or lack thereof—to the climate issue can influence future efforts to engage them.