Poll finds more Scots want stronger ac­tion on cli­mate change

Calls for in­vest­ment to im­prove en­ergy ef­fi­ciency of homes

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS - Conor rior­dan

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

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.

More than three-quar­ters, 76%, 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% in 2016.

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

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

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

Sarah Beat­tie-Smith, cli­mate and en­ergy pol­icy of­fi­cer at WWF Scot­land, said: “Th­ese sur­vey re­sults clearly show the need for strong cli­mate ac­tion is a pri­or­ity for the peo­ple of Scot­land.

“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.

“Th­ese sur­vey re­sults should give politi­cians of all par­ties the con­fi­dence to be am­bi­tious and take the steps needed to make Scot­land a fairer, more pros­per­ous so­ci­ety.”

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has al­lo­cated £114 mil­lion in the 2017-18 bud­get for fuel poverty and do­mes­tic en­ergy ef­fi­ciency – an 11% 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.”

Th­ese re­sults should give politi­cians the con­fi­dence to be am­bi­tious and take the steps needed to make Scot­land a fairer, more pros­per­ous so­ci­ety. WWF SCOT­LAND’S SARAH BEATTIESMITH

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