An international survey of the attitudes of the over 55s to the environment is being launched by a consortium of older people’s organisations, led by the Stockholm Environment Institute at the University of York (UK) and Simon Fraser University’s Gerontology Research Centre (Canada).
The EnviroSurvey55 will provide a snap shot of current attitudes of older people to environmental issues, such as climate change, in an age of austerity and rising environmental scepticism. It aims to identify difficulties that people over age 55 face in personally taking action to reduce their environment footprint.The results of the survey will feed into the policy process and help develop better strategies that address the environmental concerns of an ageing population
Dr Gary Haq, Senior Researcher at the Stockholm Environment Institute, said: “The survey will provide insight into the level of understanding and concern about environmental issues in this demographic group, including differences that are linked to geography and location. The results of the survey will feed into the policy process and help develop better strategies that address the environmental concerns of an ageing population.
Other consortium partners include, Age UK, Community Service Volunteers’ Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme (RSVP), Help Age International and the Council On The Ageing (COTA) – Victoria (Australia).
Professor Gloria Gutman, Research Associate at Simon Fraser University’s Gerontology Research Centre said: “Evidence shows that older people can be disproportionately affected by environmental problems such as air pollution, climate change-related heat waves and other natural disasters. It’s important that seniors around the world make their voices heard so that steps will be taken to better prepare them and to meet their needs when they can’t always do it themselves.”
The EnviroSurvey55 builds on previous studies of older people and the environment, in particular the vulnerability of this demographic group to the effects of a changing climate and the need for new approaches which are sensitive to personal circumstances in later life.
The survey comes at a time when the environment will again be in the international spotlight as world leaders gather in Rio de Janeiro for the United Nations Conference for Environment and Development “Earth Summit” in June 2012.
The online survey will be conducted from the 1 February – 31 March 2012, and anyone over the age of 55 can complete it by visiting www.envirosurvey55.com.
Dr Gary Haq