Nov 5, 2021 11:33 AM EST

Majority of young Americans think worst effects of climate change are preventable

optimism horiz

Graphic by Megan McGrew/ PBS NewsHour

A majority of young people in the United States are optimistic that it’s still possible to prevent the worst long-term effects of climate change, according to a new poll among 13- to 29-year-olds from the PBS NewsHour and Generation Lab, even as many of them point to the multiple ways they believe climate change will affect their personal lives in the future.

The feeling that we just don’t know yet whether the global community will succeed at COP26 — and in the larger task of combatting climate change — may be reflected in this poll, which found that around a quarter of people are unsure as to whether there’s enough time to turn things around.

Among the other findings:

  • A majority of people said that the reality of climate change will influence where they decide to live, how they use transportation or how much they travel and what they buy as consumers.
  • 15 percent said they did not think climate change will influence their future at all.