Seven out of ten Scots support taking tougher action on climate change, poll finds
Seven out of ten Scots support taking tougher action to reduce emissions in transport, food and homes to tackle climate change, according to new polling from YouGov.
The poll, carried out for Stop Climate Chaos Scotland ahead of a stage one debate on the climate change bill, found one in three Scots are more concerned about climate change now than they were one year ago.
YouGov found 71 per cent of respondents cited concern for future generations as the main reason they were anxious over climate change, followed by 65 per cent who pointed to threats to wildlife, 62 per cent who identified natural disasters and 60 per cent who cited rising sea levels.
One in three said they were more concerned about climate change now than they were one year ago, while 78 per cent of respondents were either more concerned about climate change or are as concerned as they were twelve months ago.
MSPs will this week hold a stage one debate on the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill, which targets a 90 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, alongside plans to adopt a net-zero target when a "clear pathway" exists to achieve it.
But while the Scottish Government hailed the bill as containing the most ambitious targets in the world, the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee recently warned a "greater urgency of action" was needed, recommending that ministers should review targets based on fresh advice requested from the independent Committee on Climate Change.
Gail Wilson, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland Campaigns Manager, said: “Climate change will do irreversible damage to our planet if we don’t do more to tackle it now. This new polling shows that people in Scotland recognise the seriousness of the situation and want more action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Last year, UN climate scientists published a landmark report which highlighted the alarming rate at which our climate is changing. That report underlined that if levels of emissions continue at current rates, the risks posed to people and the planet would be truly catastrophic.
“As 200 leading UN scientists from around the world gather in Edinburgh this week, MSPs at Holyrood must take note of the growing clamour for urgent action on climate change. Mounting scientific evidence from world experts, alongside increasing levels of public support mean Scotland’s new climate law must rise to address the scale of the crisis presented.”
Jamie Livingstone, Head of Oxfam Scotland, said: “People in Scotland are right to be increasingly concerned about climate change. Across the world, we are already seeing communities ravaged by fire, floods and storms like never before. Despite doing least to cause it, climate change is hitting the world’s poorest people hardest, forcing people from their homes and increasing hunger. Worryingly, climate change makes extreme weather events, like the devastating Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, much more likely."
“As a nation which has historically profited from fossil fuels, Scotland has a duty to act with greater urgency when tackling climate change and it’s hugely encouraging that people support faster action. Humanity needs bold, brave leadership and action right now – and Scotland has the chance to show genuine leadership.”
The poll was based on a sample size of 1,029 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21st - 25th March 2019.