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PISA in Focus

PISA in Focus is a series of monthly education policy-oriented notes designed to describe a PISA topic in a concise, user-friendly way.

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Is there a generational divide in environmental optimism?

Problems associated with the environment loom large over the future well-being of young generations. A previous issue of PISA in Focus (PISA in Focus 87) shows that in 2015 many 15-year-old students believed that the future – their future – was going to be worse, environmentally, than the present. In particular, only a minority of students (fewer than one in five, on average across OECD countries) believed that problems related to air pollution, the extinction of plants and animals, clearing forests for land use, water shortages and nuclear waste would improve over the next 20 years. But are teenagers more or less pessimistic than their parents?

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