Older Persons’ Perceptions concerning Climate Activism and Pro-Environmental Behaviors: Results from a Qualitative Study of Diverse Population Groups of Older Israelis

Liat Ayalon, Natalie Ulitsa, Hanan AboJabel, Shelly Engdau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Older people are under-represented in the climate change movement yet are highly susceptible to the negative effects of climate change. This study’s objectives were to identify possible barriers faced by older persons to increase their pro-environmental behaviors and participation in the climate movement. Relying on in-depth qualitative interviews and focus groups with 50 older persons from four different population groups in Israel, we identified three themes. The first theme concerned assigning responsibility for the current climate situation. This theme addressed the question of who is seen as responsible for the current situation. The second theme covered actions taken by older persons to address the current situation. Finally, older persons view governments/municipalities, industry, and individuals as responsible for the changing climate, with a more traditional segment of the population also viewing God as responsible. Moreover, although governments were identified as important institutions with relevance to the current climate challenge, respondents mainly acknowledged the relevance of pro-environmental behaviors rather than climate change activism. In conclusion, the findings highlight the need to increase environmental activism among older persons. It is also important to increase the breadth of possible pro-environmental behaviors older persons can engage with.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16366
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume14
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.

Keywords

  • activism
  • barriers
  • climate change
  • facilitators
  • older persons
  • pro-environmental
  • responsibility

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