49,243 teens polled on their views towards environmental issues ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali from 3 to 14 December
A new survey of nearly 50,000 teenagers from around the world today reveals that 74 per cent of teens believe that global warming is a serious problem and are more concerned about it than any other issue including drugs, violence or war. The results are being released as governments meet in Bali, Indonesia, for one of the most important UN conferences ever held on climate change.
The research conducted jointly by Habbo, the world’s largest virtual world for teens, and Greenpeace International examined the attitudes and behaviour of the global teen population towards environmental issues and gave teens a chance to speak out on the most pressing problem facing the world.
Governments come under scrutiny in the survey: teenagers believe that governments are lagging behind them in their level of concern over climate change. Whereas the teens surveyed regard climate change as more important than terrorism (56 per cent versus 46 per cent, respectively) they think that governments consider climate change a lower priority. 33 per cent think governments are ‘very concerned’ about climate change compared to 42 per cent who see governments being ‘very concerned’ about terrorism.
North America has come under the most fire, with 39 per cent of teens citing the continent as being responsible for the majority of greenhouse gases, followed by Europe (24 per cent) and Asia (19 per cent). Despite teens in every country pointing fingers at North America for the crisis (except in Asia where they blame themselves), a quarter of North American teens are still not sure if global warming is even a problem.
“The response from the teens to this survey conducted in Habbo is phenomenal and really highlights the concern felt around the world,” explains Timo Soininen, CEO of Sulake. “Giving teens a voice on this matter is essential and we need to find practical ways to work together and engage our youth to help combat this problem.”
Although 64 per cent of teens believe it’s still possible to stop global warming, nearly 40 per cent don’t actually know what’s causing it or how to prevent it. One thing is clear though: teens do not regard this as a future problem; two thirds of those polled believe that global warming will affect their lives in a negative way.
“Today’s teenagers are tomorrow’s decision makers. They are ‘Generation C’ – the generation that has to beat climate change,” said Gerd Leipold, Greenpeace International Executive Director. “It will be up to them to create a revolution in non-polluting, renewable energy to prevent global warming from affecting the lives of billions of people and threatening the survival of countless species of animals and plants.”
Scientists of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change say that emissions of greenhouse gases need to be halved globally by the middle of this century to avoid severe impacts such as water shortages, floods and the spread of diseases.
The 49,243 teens participating in the November 2007 Habbo survey came from 18 countries. Those completing the survey were given the option of finding out more about climate change at the ‘Habbos against climate change’ campaign group page. 16,000 Habbos registered as the supporters of the group.
Notes to Editor
About the research
The research was conducted within the virtual world, Habbo, and the total amount of respondents (after data cleaning) was 49,243. The research was conducted in November 2007. 18 countries were surveyed and statistical weighting was employed to give all participating countries an equal weight in the global results. Research is available on request.
Habbo is a richly colorful, multi-dimensional virtual community and game environment for teens. Users join by creating a fully-customized online character called a Habbo. From there, they can explore many public hang-outs, play a variety of games, connect with friends, decorate their own rooms, and have fun through creativity and self expression. Currently there are Habbo communities in 31 countries on five continents. To date, over 82 million Habbo characters have been created and 6 million unique users worldwide visit Habbo each month (source: Google Analytics). www.habbo.xx.xx
Sulake is an online entertainment company focused on virtual worlds and social networking. Sulake’s main product is Habbo, one of the world’s fastest growing virtual worlds and online communities for teenagers. There are localized Habbo communities in 31 countries on five continents. To date over 82 million Habbo characters have been created and 6 million unique users worldwide visit Habbo each month (source: Google Analytics). Habbo brand is being extended to include mobile games and content as well as real-life products.
Sulake was established in 2000 and it has almost doubled its annual revenues each year. The main shareholders in Sulake include Taivas Group, Elisa Group, 3i Group plc, and Benchmark Capital followed by Movida Group (in Japan), the company’s founders Sampo Karjalainen and Aapo Kyrölä, Sulake’s CEO Timo Soininen and other personnel.
Sulake has offices in 15 countries. Headquarters is situated in Helsinki, Finland. Currently the company has over 300 employees worldwide. www.sulake.com
Greenpeace’s activities related to Bali
Follow progress at the Bali climate conference and join in Greenpeace’s activities at www.greenpeace.org/bali-action
Further contact information for reporters to get video, photos or report details
Accompanying graphs from the research are available on request. General Sulake and Habbo press images can be downloaded from: www.sulake.com/press/image_bank . For background photos regarding climate change, contact the Greenpeace International picture desk. Tel: +31 20 718 2058