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Harnessing Green Communication for Gen Z Awareness on Carbon Emissions

The contemporary environmental landscape is shifting with a pace unparalleled in history. As of 2021, global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and industry soared to an unprecedented 37.12 billion metric tons (GtCO₂). A year later, the figure spiked to 37.5 GtCO₂, marking a 0.9% surge, the most significant recorded. This over-six-decade increase is largely attributed to the industrialization of countries, particularly in Asia. China’s emissions, for instance, swelled by over 400% between 1990 and 2021. The United States, though contributing a significant 5.01 GtCO₂ in 2021, has observed a 6% dip since 1990. Historical global events, such as COVID-19, contributed to brief interludes in the rise with a 5% fall in emissions in 2020.

The pressing need now lies in redirecting the narrative towards newer generations, particularly Generation Z, which comprises 26% of the global populace. By recognizing their consumption and communication patterns, this demographic provides an opportunity for innovative climate change awareness campaigns.

Understanding Generation Z: A Glimpse

Gen Z is projected to be the workforce’s face by 2025, making up 27% of the population. This generation is innately tech-savvy, with 91% of them emphasizing technology’s role in job selection. Social media has become their primary source of product information, with 97% of Gen Zers attesting to this fact. Moreover, 55% of Gen Zers are conscious consumers, preferring eco-friendly and socially responsible brands. Their buying decisions, to a significant extent (53%), are also executed via mobile devices.

Media Consumption of Gen Z: An Insight

Social media platforms dominate the Gen Z communication landscape. Instagram remains a powerhouse with a 76% usage rate. TikTok (68%) and Snapchat (67%) trail closely, emphasizing their content consumption patterns. However, traditional platforms like Facebook (49%) and Twitter (47%) have seen dwindling numbers among Gen Zers. These platforms’ gendered use is noteworthy, with more male Gen Zers leaning towards platforms like YouTube and Reddit, while female counterparts dominate Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. Interestingly, 38% of Gen Zers report spending more than four hours daily on social media.

Challenges: Reception, Perception, and Emotion

Gen Z’s rapid information consumption, primarily through social media, poses challenges:

  • Information Overload: With vast amounts of information available, deciphering relevant and accurate data becomes daunting.
  • Emotional Resonance: Quick content consumption might not always ensure emotional connection or meaningful understanding.
  • Bipolarizing Society: Information echo chambers could lead to polarized views on climate change.
  • Lack of In-depth Knowledge: The brief and flashy nature of some social media content might prevent comprehensive learning.


  • Collaborative Initiatives: Both public and private sectors must develop educational campaigns tailored for Gen Z.
  • Leverage Influencers: Influential voices on platforms favored by Gen Z can be harnessed to drive authentic and impactful awareness.
  • Interactive Learning: Incorporate AR and VR technologies to provide immersive learning experiences about climate change.
  • Fact-checking Partnerships: Collaborate with platforms to ensure the circulation of verified information.
  • Emotion-driven Campaigns: Stories and narratives that resonate emotionally, highlighting real-world impacts of carbon emissions.


As we forge ahead, the onus lies in reimagining green communication, ensuring it aligns with the ever-evolving digital ecosystem. Tailoring this to Gen Z’s preferences and patterns will be pivotal. Harnessing their potential can catalyze the change needed to curtail the surge in carbon emissions, steering the planet towards a sustainable future. The blend of technology, emotional resonance, and accurate information will be the linchpin in this endeavor.


Bayrem Kilani 

Communication, Social Medias Expert