Poll finds more Scots want stronger action on climate change

A growing number of people in Scotland want to see stronger action on climate change, according to a poll.

Scientists have said the Arctic has been one of the regions hardest hit by climate change. Picture: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Results from a survey by WWF Scotland show an increase in the percentage of those calling for more investment, renewable energy sources and a reduction in emissions.

The data comes as a new Climate Change Bill is out for public consultation, and around 1,000 Scots were surveyed in May and June for the WWF study.

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More than three-quarters, 76 per cent, of respondents said the Scottish Government should reduce climate change emissions by “investing more in improving the energy efficiency of homes across Scotland”, up from 67 per cent in 2016.

A total of 68 per cent said they want the Government to invest in projects that reduce emissions, up from 59 per cent in 2016.

There were 72 per cent who believe more should be done to help people heat their homes from renewable sources. Only 59 per cent thought so in the previous year.

And 71 per cent thought electricity should be generated from Scotland’s renewable resources, up from 61 per cent in 2016.

Sarah Beattie-Smith, climate and energy policy officer at WWF Scotland, said: “The forthcoming Climate Bill is a welcome opportunity to continue Scotland’s climate leadership and demonstrate the creative, imaginative, bold and radical policies that the First Minister has said will be set out in the next Programme for Government.

“We believe the forthcoming Climate Change Bill can help to create jobs, improve public health and reduce poverty at home, whilst also ensuring Scotland plays its part in helping the poorest people in the world cope with the effects of climate change.”

The Scottish Government has allocated £114 million in the 2017-18 budget for fuel poverty and domestic energy efficiency – an 11 per cent increase on the 2016-17 draft budget of £103m.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Our proposals for a new Climate Change Bill, which includes increasing the ambition of the 2050 target in response to the international Paris Agreement, will strengthen Scotland’s place at the forefront of the transition to the low-carbon economy.”