Singapore recorded our fourth warmest year in 2023, which was also reported to be the hottest year recorded based on global temperatures. Global warming poses real threats for Singapore, impacting sea levels and food security amongst others.

The Singapore government launched the Singapore Green Plan 2030 in 2021 to address some of these issues. The impetus to address these environment and sustainability issues are also echoed by youths in Singapore.

For the third year in a row, NYC’s youth sentiment polls have revealed that Singaporean youths ranked environment and sustainability among the top five issues that require more attention1. Read on to learn what they believe are key to improving our green efforts and the personal actions they are practising in driving towards a more sustainable future.

Top Areas Youths Believe Need To Be Addressed For Greater Sustainability

In 2023, three areas were top of mind for youths2, namely food security (40%), support for local/community-based actions (40%), and awareness and accessibility of information on environmental issues (39%).

Beyond signalling the areas youths believe need to be worked on as a nation, this also shows that our youths are keen to contribute and take action for greater environmental sustainability, as well as learn more about the complex topic to further their understanding.

Youth Participation In Environmentally Friendly & Sustainable Actions

It may not be easy for all youths to support environmental causes, seeing that over one in three found it expensive and inconvenient to adopt sustainable habits or lifestyles. Even so, close to half of youths (45%) reported being supportive of sustainability initiatives regardless of potential inconvenience it creates in their daily lives3. Common practices youths were willing to take included deliberately avoiding or buying products for environmental reasons and encouraging others to adopt sustainable practices, with one in two doing so3.

One area where such practices are prominent is in the area of fashion, and youths in Singapore are more likely to have purchased a sustainable fashion product before compared to those of the older generations, with two in five Gen Z and Millennials doing so. Additionally, 42% of youths also expressed that they would like to see more sustainable practices, even if it means fewer designs or more expensive clothing3.

Outside of that, youths also showed support for recent policy implementations such as the supermarket disposable carrier bag surcharge, and the country’s move in raising the carbon tax for greenhouse gas emissions3, with over one in two indicating so.


Youths Hold Balanced Perspective Towards Environmental Sustainability & Its Trade-Offs

Overall, youths were also able to adopt a balanced viewpoint on environmental issues and were cognisant of its potential trade-offs for the country.

In tackling the challenging environmental issues, youths consider the trade-offs on immediate and practical bread-and-butter issues such as the economy and housing. While two in five youths agreed in 2023 that Singapore should prioritise environmental sustainability even if it leads to slower economic growth3, a similar proportion also believed that Singapore should prioritise housing needs over biodiversity conservation3.

Youths also understood that the responsibility for the environment is a shared one, with similar proportions agreeing that coordinated action between public and private institutions as well as support for individuals’ action (e.g., zero waste lifestyles) need to be addressed to tackle environmental issues2.



In recent years, NYC has provided various platforms for youths to share their views and even participate in policymaking. On an international level, COP 28 marks the first time Singapore sent a youth delegation to engage on climate change issues with like-minded peers at a global stage. Locally, youths will also now have a chance to co-create policy recommendations with the government through the inaugural Youth panels, which features a #GreenHacks panel that delves into environmental issues.

1 National Youth Council. (2021-2023). Youth Sentiment Polls.
2 National Youth Council. (2023). Youth Sentiment Polls.
3 National Youth Council. (2023). Youth Sentiment Poll on Sustainability & Emerging Green Topics.