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Majority of U.S. Teens Don't Expect Businesses Alone to Fix Global Warming, Survey Finds

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With the clock ticking, who will solve the problems of climate change and global warming?

Most U.S. teens believe that everyone should help.

Nearly 70% of teens said that fixing climate change and global warming is the responsibility of all of us, as individuals, according to a survey released Thursday by Junior Achievement. The survey was conducted online by Engine Insights in September and polled more than 1,000 13- to 17-year-olds about their views on the environment.

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"It was a bit of a different take than I would have anticipated," said Ed Grocholski, senior vice president of brand at Junior Achievement, adding that many conversations around climate change and global warming have focused on what was happening at a higher level, such as the government.

"There is that sense of optimism that something can be done, and people can be proactive," he said.

Today's teens, however, seem to be more tuned into how their individual actions and choices impact the environment — the overwhelming majority said that human activity plays a role in climate change.

Interestingly, though teens don't see businesses as having the greatest responsibility when it comes to solving the environmental crisis, they do see business as playing a key role.

Of those surveyed, 73% said that business innovation would be required to slow or stop climate change from getting worse.

"There's some optimism that the private sector can play a really productive role in addressing this issue," said Grocholski, adding that things such as electric cars, green construction and growing alternative power sources have played a part. "There's a sense of hopefulness that maybe wasn't there a few years ago just because some of the things we're seeing from an innovation standpoint."

Most teens worry about climate change and what impact global warming will have on their lives, according to the survey.

Some 65% of teens polled said that they worry about their future quality of life because of environmental change. Only 14% said they aren't concerned about how climate change will impact them, and 22% were undecided.

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