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Voters Consider Climate Action A Key Poll Issue

Voters Consider Climate Action A Key Poll Issue

Voters Consider Climate Action A Key Poll Issue

MUMBAI, (IANS) – Climate action ranks as the second-most crucial factor influencing the choice of political candidates or parties among first-time voters in Maharashtra, according to a recent survey.

The survey titled ‘Perception of First-Time Voters (aged 18-22 years) on Climate Education in India’ revealed that 52.2 percent of respondents advocate for climate education as the government’s most effective strategy to combat the climate crisis. A significant portion of participants expressed a need for more comprehensive climate education to bridge the gap between awareness and actionable knowledge.

The survey was conducted in a collaboration between Asar Social Impact Advisors, the Climate Educators Network (CEN), and CMSR Consultants.

It surveyed 1600 first-time voters from states including Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal. A total of 400 respondents from Mumbai and Pune participated in the survey.

The survey’s findings underscore the urgency and importance of integrating climate education into curricula, tailoring it to meet local contexts and students’ needs.

On the quality of environmental education in schools and colleges, responses varied across different regions. In Delhi, the prevailing sentiment among respondents (58 percent) was that the quality of environmental education is ‘average’, with 25 percent considering it ‘poor’. Conversely, in Maharashtra and West Bengal, most respondents (47 percent and 58 percent respectively) rated environmental education as ‘good’.

In Tamil Nadu, 39 percent of the respondents perceived their environmental education positively as ‘good’, while another 25 percent described it as ‘average’.

On coverage of climate change topics, across locations, topics like global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, and biodiversity loss were commonly addressed in the school curriculum. However, most of the participants expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of depth and solution-oriented approach.

Despite some detailed discussions on specific aspects like greenhouse gases and mitigation strategies, there was a common sentiment of inadequate coverage or in-depth discussions about climate change and no practical solutions to address environmental challenges.

Participants also emphasized the need for practical solutions in climate education, and topics like sustainable development goals and waste segregation to be integrated into the curriculum. They called for climate education to be free from political bias and made it mandatory, suggesting adjustments to the credit scoring system to reflect its importance.

There was a notable lack of awareness about climate change’s causes and consequences, highlighting the need for more knowledge dissemination. The need for comprehensive and in-depth coverage on topics like global warming, medical waste management, acid rain and ozone depletion were emphasized.

There were suggestions for a deeper exploration and analysis of the hazardous nature of industrial pollution and detailed information on how climate change can be mitigated and reversed within the curriculum.

In Maharashtra, West Bengal, and Tamil Nadu, a significant majority of respondents reported learning new and significant aspects of climate change in school. However, in Delhi, only 23 percent of respondents stated the same.

Participants also stressed the importance of political commitment to addressing climate change issues, indicating a growing awareness among voters regarding environmental sustainability and its influence on political decisions.

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