‘Generation Greta’: 23% of young people to pursue ‘green careers’

More than half of UK teenagers aged between 15 and 18 think climate change is the biggest problem in the world while 77% admit the 16-year-old Swedish activist has influenced them

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Almost a quarter of young people aged 15-18 consider pursuing a career combatting climate change, inspired by Greta Thunberg, a new survey from the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) shows.

Further findings of the survey reveal that more than half of this age group think climate change is the biggest problem facing the world today, while 77% of those responding said they have been influenced by Greta Thunberg.

In an era when Greta is becoming one of the most visible faces of climate activism, the survey also shows that young people believe that science plays a significant role to tackle climate change, with 26% of them saying scientists have the biggest role to play in addressing climate change.

Around 78% believe the science of chemistry plays an important role in tackling the decline of natural resources.

Sarah Robertson, Director of Education and Professional Practice, at RSC said: “It’s incredibly encouraging to see so many young people keen to consider a career which can help tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems – and that it was Greta Thunberg, a young person herself, who has inspired this interest.

“We’re all aware of the ambition to increase the number of people studying Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics subjects at university, college and through apprenticeships.

“With 82% of respondents to the survey saying that chemistry and the chemical sciences is important to addressing climate change, for example, there is an opportunity to fulfil that ambition – but only if we provide better support and inspiration for the next generation of climate scientists.”

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