Inheriting the Earth? The unprecedented challenge of environmental breakdown for younger generations (IPPR)

17th September 2019

Younger generations, in addition to being economically worse off than their parents, face a future of unprecedented environmental breakdown. They will disproportionately bear the burden of having to rapidly transform economic systems in order to decelerate environmental breakdown while withstanding its increasingly destabilising consequences; an unprecedented challenge. Leaders in older generations are failing to act and so younger and future generations face a toxic inheritance: a future of compounding environmental breakdown and destabilisation.

In response, many young people are already leading the discussion on the threats of environmental breakdown and the need for action. This IPPR report argues that this leadership should be better recognised, including through formal representation of the interests of younger and future generations in decision-making systems.

This discussion paper series is part of a major IPPR research programme – Responding to environmental breakdown– that seeks to understand how to realise a more sustainable, just and prepared society in response to environmental breakdown.