"Do Better" - GEMS Student Climate Change Survey

Close to two thirds of young people feel that not enough is being done to combat climate change, one in two lack confidence that the world will be able to stop climate change, and less than half feel a sense of optimism about the future.

That’s according to GEMS Education’s November 2023 survey that gauged the views of a total of 12,019 students aged 10 and above attending 44 GEMS schools across the UAE and Qatar.

Conducted ahead of the United Nations’ COP28 climate change conference in Dubai, the survey revealed that the overriding message from young people in the region is unequivocal: they demand that world leaders do better, they demand action, and they demand it now.

From among the thousands of responses, two words stood out, repeated again and again by children of all ages, simple yet strong and full of power:

“Do better.”

For a summary of the survey results, see the infographic below. For the full story, click here.


Voices of a generation

As part of the survey, students were invited to think about what they would say to world leaders gathering in Dubai for COP28. Here’s a small sample from the 12,000+ responses we received…


“Climate change is real, so stop trying to shove it under the rug. If it doesn’t haunt you, it will haunt us. And you will be remembered as the people who ruined the lives of future generations by refusing to take action.”

Student at GEMS American Academy, age 12-15

“We love our home from the heart, so being sustainable and loving our planet comes from the heart.”

Student at GEMS Cambridge International School – Dubai, age 12-15

“A cleaner world offers a greater life.”

Student at GEMS American Academy – Abu Dhabi, age 10-11

“People need to have empathy to care about climate change. Without empathy people won’t care enough to change for the betterment of the environment.”

Student at GEMS Cambridge International School – Dubai, age 16-17

“If we continue to fight over our small differences, we won’t be able to understand the big differences in our world.”

Student at GEMS Our Own High School – Al Warqa’a, age 12-15

“You are trying too much. Climate change is caused by humans; if you want to fix it, fix humans.”

Student at GEMS Winchester School – Abu Dhabi, age 12-15

“The richest men in the world want nothing but power, no matter the cost or damage to the Earth and its population. They are the problem, not the lack of sustainability.”

Student at GEMS World Academy – Dubai, age 16-17

“More financial aid needs to be given towards helping mitigate the negative impacts of climate change and preventing existing issues becoming worse.”

Student at The Westminster School – Dubai, age 16-17

“We are at the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of economic growth.”

Student at GEMS Cambridge International Private School – Sharjah, age 12-15

“Climate change can’t stop us.”

Student at GEMS Jumeirah Primary School, age 10-11

“Our future is more important than your money.”

Student at GEMS International School – Al Khail, age 12-15

“Don’t make empty promises. I don’t want to live in a world where my generation and future generations must fix the problems of politicians who kept making empty promises. Yes, COP28 is inspiring and raises awareness. But we need more than words. We need your material efforts to stop climate change."

Student at GEMS Cambridge International School – Abu Dhabi, age 12-15

“Stop wasting tax money on military weapons and use it to fight climate change.”

Student at GEMS Winchester School – Abu Dhabi, age 12-15

“We spend so much money on exploring other planets; why don’t we use that money to save our Earth?”

Student at GEMS Our Own Indian School, age 12-15

“You are changing the lives of many. Keep it up, we all are supporting you”

Student at GEMS Legacy School, age 10-11

“Please save the world. We only have one. I know everyone has their own problems to solve, but please make time for this.”

Student at The Westminster School – Dubai, age 16-17

Our international education footprint extends to 49 schools across the UAE, Qatar and Egypt, delivering a consistent, dynamic, high-quality education for every child.
Find a School