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A large survey of young people in Queensland, Australia, indicates that the majority believe that climate change is occurring, that the planet is warming because of greenhouse gas emissions, and that anthropogenic global warming poses a serious risk to Australia. Parental education has an important influence upon the development of environmental attitudes among young people, with the children of tertiary-educated parents much more likely than others to be concerned about planetary warming. A strong gender divide is also apparent, with young women consistently more concerned about ‘the environment’ than young men are. Political party identification has an important influence upon environmental concerns even among these 16–17-year olds, with young conservative party identifiers far less likely than Greens or Labor identifiers to believe that global warming will pose a serious risk in their lifetime, after controlling for beliefs in human-induced climate change. The party identification findings point to an emerging support base of young Australians for parties that adopt a progressive stance on climate change.

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