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Understanding how teens talk about climate change

The climate movement is not far from our minds when we think about youth activism. From environmentalism to planet restoration, this generation is voicing their concerns over the climate crisis, and they are making sure that they are heard.

We set out on a mission to understand current online discourse around the climate crisis and identify the dominant narratives that define how teens around the globe are talking about climate change. We went to where the young people are — from Twitter to TikTok, Instagram, and Google — to understand the nature of conversations, identify teen segments driving them, and size the different narratives.

Here is what we found:

Planet-Positive Careers:

Teens recognize that the climate crisis will be the fight of their lives, so they actively seek and share information about careers that are good for the planet and how any job can be made more environmentally friendly. Brands and media could help by creating more of these jobs and guiding teens in finding and thriving in them.

Power of the Influencer-Organizer:

There is a vocal minority of passionate teen climate activists igniting online climate conversations and driving action in real life, like collating petitions and organizing protests. They could benefit from support and amplification from authentic allies in the corporate, NGO, and media worlds.

Climate Anxiety is on the Rise:

Flecked with this generation’s infamous dark humor, teens are having discussions on how they are feeling increasingly anxious about the climate crisis. Aside from the daily stresses that come with their age, they are also constantly worried about the state of their future, or if they even have one at all. Globally, they could benefit from mental health tips and resources that can prepare them for the long, hard fight ahead.

Seeking to understand the drivers and barriers of these teens is crucial to all our futures; only then can we empower them to combat the climate crisis to rebuild a better planet.

Download the full report

Originally published at https://www.quilt.ai on March 18, 2022.

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