A growing number of children are being affected by eco-anxiety – concern about ecological disasters – new research suggests.
The poll showed that young people are feeling frustrated and anxious about the state of the planet with 80 per cent saying the problem of climate change was important to them, and more than a third saying it was very important.
Nearly three quarters (73 per cent) added that they were worried about the state of the planet right now, including 22 per cent who say they were “very worried”.
When asked about their futures, almost three in five (58 per cent) children said that they are concerned about the impact that climate change will have on their lives, with many admitting these worries often come out in unusual ways.
Nearly one in five (19 per cent) of the children surveyed admitted to having a bad dream about the climate crisis, while 17 per cent said they have had their sleeping and eating habits affected by their concerns.
When questioned about the action being taken by grown-ups to tackle the problem, a large number of children said they feel frustrated about the progress being made.
More than half (59 per cent) of participants said they don’t think their voices are being heard on climate change, while nearly two thirds (64 per cent) don’t believe people in power are listening to them enough when they do talk about it.
What’s more, 41 per cent said they don’t trust adults to tackle the challenges that climate change presents.
Emma Citron, a consultant clinical child psychologist, said that young people often find it difficult to come to terms with the scale of the problem of climate changes and what often seems like a lack of response shown by governments and world leaders.