Majority of Filipino children and young adults are worried that climate change is threatening the people and the planet, a recent study conducted worldwide showed.

Citing the first global large-scale investigation of climate anxiety in children and young people co-led by United Kingdom-based psychotherapist Caroline Hickman, non-profit organization Climate Reality Project Philippines bared Wednesday that 75 percent of Filipino children are experiencing climate anxiety.

Climate anxiety is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as “a chronic fear of environmental doom.”

The study, entitled “Young People’s Voices on Climate Anxiety, Government Betrayal and Moral Injury: A Global Phenomenon,” showed that 71 percent of Filipino respondents aged 16 to 25 think they will not have access to the same opportunities that their parents had. The result is higher than the worldwide result of 55 percent.

Meanwhile, 77 percent of Filipino respondents think that their family’s economic, social and physical security will be threatened, while 47 percent are hesitant to have children because of climate change.

“If we put together the realities of climate change with climate anxiety and global inadequate action, then what we are looking at are chronic, inescapable stressors that will inevitably impact the mental health of children and young people,” said Hickman, who is also a board member of the Climate Psychological Alliance, a non-profit that aims to address the psychological dimensions of the climate and ecological crisis.

Although she clarified that “climate anxiety is not a mental illness,” Hickman said, it is “inextricably linked to the failure of those in power to act decisively and sufficiently to address the prevailing climate crisis.”

The study, which surveyed 10,000 children and young adults from Australia, Brazil, Finland, France, India, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, UK, and the US, also found that 45 percent of them reported that their feelings towards the prevailing climate crisis are having negative impacts on their daily lives.

It includes their eating, concentrating, work, school, sleeping, spending time in nature, playing, having fun habits, and dealing with relationships.

For the 68 percent of the Filipino respondents, they believe the government in general “is failing the young people.” Meanwhile, 69 percent of them think the government is lying about the impact of their action and the 56 percent think the government is betraying them and the future generations.

“We need to acknowledge the concurrent mental health distress that this [climate crisis] is causing. We need to be clear that unless we take global action, we are leaving young people in the most vulnerable countries in the world feeling distressed and feeling abandoned and betrayed,” Hickman said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (