Climate change knowledge among youth in Durban : a case study of COY7.
This case study explores climate change knowledge among a group of youth in Durban who participated in the seventh Conference of Youth (COY7). The conference was held 25th-27th of November 2011 in Durban in conjunction with the 17th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The study examines how they understand the concept of climate change; what inspired them to take an interest in climate change issues; what sources of information on climate change that have been influential for them; and how their participation in the conference influenced their knowledge and commitment. The findings reveal that many different sources have been influential for providing climate change knowledge and engendering commitment among the youth. While peers are particularly important as a source of initial interest, the influential sources of knowledge are more varied. Two main sources were evident in this study: sources provided by more structured settings like university and written materials, and sources obtained through more socials settings, such as interactions with people and conferences and seminars. According to the findings, COY7 was more important for the youth as a source of inspiration and motivation than as a source of new knowledge. The case study reveals the importance of diversity in sources of information about climate change among the youth.