Subscribe to Holyrood updates

Newsletter sign-up


Follow us

Scotland’s fortnightly political & current affairs magazine


Subscribe to Holyrood
by Joseph Anderson
01 November 2021
Poll: Scots want richer countries to pay more to tackle climate change

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) greets French President Emmanuel Macron at the Cop26 summit at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow

Poll: Scots want richer countries to pay more to tackle climate change

Richer countries should pay more to tackle climate change, according to a majority of Scots.

New analysis from two surveys by Ipsos MORI and the Climate Engagement Partnership - a collaboration between Ipsos MORI and the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST) - shows that Scots are more supportive of climate justice than the rest of the United Kingdom.

An Ipsos MORI survey of 9,999 UK adults, including 1,911 in Scotland, conducted in late September and early October shows that seven out of ten Scots say it is right that developed countries - which have produced the most carbon emissions - should pay more to solve the problem, and only 13 per cent disagree.

Support for this is higher in Scotland than it is in the UK overall, where 63 per cent agree.

The polling also found there is broad support in Scotland for the UK Government’s recently announced policy to double climate finance aid over the next five years, to £11.6bn.

Scots are also slightly more likely to feel that the amount of climate finance aid is not enough and should be increased than the UK public overall are – 27 per cent in Scots say this, compared with 21 per cent in the UK overall. 

A second Ipsos MORI survey of over 5,600 UK adults, including 1,051 in Scotland, shows that nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of the Scottish public believe that the UK is already feeling the effects of climate change, compared with 67 per cent of the UK public overall, and that three in five in Scotland believe that the UK needs to achieve net zero ahead of its 2050 target (59 per cent in Scotland, compared with 54 per cent of the UK public overall).

Emily Gray, managing director of Ipsos MORI Scotland, said: “With the eyes of the world on Glasgow ahead of the COP26 summit, these findings show strong support among Scots for policies supporting developing countries in the fight against climate change.

“While most of us are worried about climate change, we don’t feel we know much about what action is needed to reduce our carbon emissions.

“Public engagement will be critical in addressing that gap and supporting people through the transition to net zero.”

 Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh, professor of environmental psychology and director of CAST, said: “These findings show the Scottish public has a strong sense of climate justice, recognising that richer countries are more responsible for climate change and should do more to tackle it.

“At the same time, Scots see climate change as a risk for their own country right now – and many want governments to speed up the timeframe for acting.

“This strong public mandate for rapid and fair climate action should spur UK leaders at COP26 to show leadership in the global fight against climate change.”      

Holyrood Newsletters

Holyrood provides comprehensive coverage of Scottish politics, offering award-winning reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by Joseph Anderson - SNP Depute leader warns 'Labour will give way to the Tories'.

Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox

Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox


Popular reads
Back to top