Youth against climate change in developing countries: Knowledge is power

Minh-Hoang Nguyen
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan

January 23, 2023

Fighting to avoid a future dominated by heatwaves, storms, and floods, youth worldwide is pushing for a climate change prevention agenda [1]. It is even more crucial for the youth in developing countries, as they are those most worried about climate change, and their countries are most vulnerable to climate change [2-4].

Replacing fossil fuel with renewable energy is a crucial jigsaw to accomplish the net zero emission target and slow down climate change. To ensure their futures, the youth in developing countries need to thrive on fostering the social and policymakers to adopt energy transition initiatives and policies. They need the power to do so.

Scientia est potential [Knowledge is power].

Understanding the vital role of the youth in fighting against climate change and the strength of knowledge, Dr. Quy Khuc Van (VNU University of Economics and Business, Vietnam National University) and his teammates have conducted a study investigating the factors contributing to the youth’s willingness to improve their energy literacy [5]. The Bayesian Mindsponge Framework was employed on a dataset of 1454 students from 48 Vietnamese universities [6].

The study finds that Vietnamese young adults are highly concerned about the environment and have a high demand to improve their energy literacy. Students’ concerns over climate change, gender, age, income, and living environment influence their intentions to undertake energy-related training and courses. These findings offer authorities and education institutions valuable insights into the design of energy-related courses in the curricula and segments of the population willing to acquire energy-related knowledge.

Figure: For a more habitable Earth. The image was drawn by the openAI DALL•E-2, nudged by ©2023 QH Vuong.

By enhancing the intention to accumulate energy-related knowledge, we can help the youth equip one of the most potent weapons to fight against climate change. Although such knowledge might not directly and immediately lead to social or policy changes, it aids the youth in formulating their thinking and determining their subsequent actions that favor replacing fossil fuel with renewable energy [7]. This, in turn, creates an eco-surplus infosphere (or culture) that will influence other people in the society, gradually shift their mindsets, and lead to policy changes [8-9].


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[2] Thompson T. (2021). Young people’s climate anxiety revealed in landmark survey. Nature, 597, 605.

[3] Marks E, et al. (2021). Young people’s voices on climate anxiety, government betrayal and moral injury: A global phenomenon. SSRN, 3918955.

[4] Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative. (2023). ND-GAIN Country Index. University of Notre Dame.

[5] Khuc VQ, et al. (2023). Improving energy literacy to facilitate energy transition and nurture environmental culture in Vietnam. Urban Science, 7(1), 13.

[6] Nguyen MH, et al. (2022). Introduction to Bayesian Mindsponge Framework analytics: An innovative method for social and psychological research. MethodsX, 9, 101808.

[7] Vuong QH, Nguyen MH, La VP. (2022). The mindsponge and BMF analytics for innovative thinking in social sciences and humanities. De Gruyter.

[8] Vuong QH. (2021). The semiconducting principle of monetary and environmental values exchange. Economics and Business Letters, 10(3), 284-290.

[9] Khuc VQ, et al. (2022). Brain drain out of the blue: Pollution-induced migration in Vietnam. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(6), 3645.