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Will the youth of China and Brazil lead the way in the new environmental ‘Great Leap Forward’ while British and American young people languish in egomaniacal tweets and preposterous dreams of stardom, not giving two cares about the future of the planet?

A recent survey by the Carbon Trust attempts to measure concern about CO2 and climate change in young populations around the world – and the results may surprise you.

The scope of the survey focuses on the awareness and consumer values of young adults in 6 different countries on 5 continents – The US, UK, China, South Korea, Brazil and South Africa – as they relate to climate change. Not a fully comprehensive survey, but one that can perhaps offer some insight into the mindset of many of the Earth’s future consumers.

An average of 33% of all young people surveyed said they would be more likely to pay more for products with a lower carbon footprint. Higher average percentages (78 and 70) resulted when youth were asked if they would like their favorite brands to reduce their carbon footprint and if this would make them more loyal customers, respectively.

From the New Statesman:

Eighty-one per cent of those questioned in Brazil said that companies should be obliged to provide proof of their policy to reduce their carbon footprint, higher than any other nation; 68 per cent of those surveyed worldwide want to see companies’ carbon impact quantified by an independent organisation. This is highest in China at 84 per cent and lowest in the US at 55 per cent.

When asked if they would stop buying products from a company that refused to commit to reducing its carbon footprint 60% in China said they would, followed by 57% in Brazil, 53% in Korea, 36% in the UK and 35% in the US. Apparently, not caring is still cool for the youth of America.

The Carbon Trust is a ‘not for dividend’ private company formed by the British Government to foster a low carbon economy by encouraging organizations to lower their carbon footprints by improved technology, management and efficiency.

Later this week, the Carbon Trust will launch its Standard in Korea and announce the first four Asian companies to receive the Carbon Trust Standard for reducing their organisational carbon footprints.  And today it opens a novel new exhibition in London to showcase company action on carbon.  The world’s first ‘Carbon Footprinting’ Gallery, will explore the proactive steps global brands, including Tesco, Danone, Manchester United and BT, are taking to lower their carbon footprint.  The exhibition takes place at the Future Gallery in London from 2nd April – 4th April.

–Carbon Trust press release

Read the entire press release and download a copy of the report, entitled ‘A global survey of young adult’s perceptions of carbon and climate change’ (incorrect use of apostrophe noted).

About The Author: Graham Land

Greenfudge editor and London-based writer Graham Land grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, where he was part of the local hardcore punk scene, playing in several bands. Through this musical movement he became involved in grass roots interests such as anti-racist activism, animal rights and Ecology. In 2000 he relocated to Europe, eventually earning an MA from Malmö University in Sweden. He has also lived in Japan, Ireland, Portugal and Greece.


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