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However, the willingness to reduce air travel as a gesture towards climate-conscious living is similar across age groups.

Recent research by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) has shown that young people between the ages of 18 and 25 consider themselves less climate-conscious than older age groups. This contrast is evident in the National Youth Monitor, where young people rate their own climate-conscious behavior with an average of 6,2 on a scale of 10. research, entitled Experiences 2023, emphasizes that this self-image contrasts with older generations, who rate themselves on average with a 7.

This difference in perception of climate-conscious living between generations can partly be attributed to the flying behavior of young people. In 2023, 61% of 18 to 25 year olds have reported having traveled by plane in the past twelve months, a significantly higher percentage than in older age groups. For example, approximately 45% of 35 to 55 year olds traveled by plane, while only 14% of those over 75 did the same.

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Young people are less likely than older people to believe that they live climate-consciously

However, the willingness to reduce air travel as a gesture towards climate-conscious living is similar across age groups. About 30% of the younger generation is willing to fly less often for the climate, a percentage equal to that of 25 to 65 year olds. Among people over 65 who sometimes travel by plane, about half are willing to fly less often.

Interestingly, the feeling of flying shame does not differ significantly between young people and most other age groups. Despite the high level of air travel among young people, 22% feel guilty about their choice to fly due to the impact on the climate, a feeling that around half of this age group does not share.

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The report also points to the low willingness among young people to give up flying holidays completely; only 6% of 18 to 25 year olds are certainly prepared to do this, compared to 24% of those over 75. This suggests a complex relationship between awareness of climate change and willingness to make lifestyle adjustments.

The CBS findings raise questions about how climate awareness is perceived and applied by different generations, and in particular how young people position themselves with regard to climate change and sustainability. It underlines the importance of further education and awareness about climate-friendly living and the impact of personal choices on the environment.

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The news report states that young people exhibit less environmentally friendly behavior. This is regardless of the reason for this behavior. Environmentally friendly behavior can arise from climate awareness, but it can also be based on other factors, such as high energy costs, poverty or the living environment, for example the city or the countryside. These data provide important insight into the perceptions and behavior of different age groups in the Netherlands regarding climate awareness and environmentally responsible behavior.

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