Survey results gives clear mandate to step up action on climate

Scottish Household Survey shows demand for urgent climate action.

First Minister Humza Yousaf has been handed a clear public mandate to up the ambition on climate action based on the results of the latest Scottish Household Survey, say the Scottish Greens.

People worried about the climate crisis rocketed from an already sizable 68% in 2019 to an overwhelming 74% in 2022 - the highest proportion of people ever in Scotland to consider climate change as an immediate and urgent problem.

Significantly, the rises are not confined to one group but are spanning generations. Among those aged between 25 to 34, concern rose from 67% to 78%. For those aged 75+ that soared from 56% to stand now at 65%.

The results come just two days ahead of a cross party meeting of leaders at Holyrood being held by the First Minister on Thursday, recognising that the scale and urgency of the climate crisis  is bigger than any one group of MSPs.

Scottish Greens climate spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP said: “We owe it to all our future generations to put solving the climate crisis above party politics and the results of the Scottish Household Survey show the public want that too.

“With such increased levels of awareness and concern about our environment, and a real desire for urgent action, this comprehensive survey offers an unquestionably strong and clear public mandate for the First Minister to go as far as he can on climate action.

“World leaders at COP28 are round the table discussing what steps need to be taken on a global stage. Our political leaders have the same chance to agree that we must live up to that challenge here in Scotland too and put plans in place to do it.

“With Scottish Greens in Government we have seen a generational shift in how we fund our responsibilities to climate and nature. But we have so much more work left to do.

“It is clear that the Scottish public, across all ages, want politicians to work together on what is the biggest challenge all of us will ever face.”

Results also showed greater appreciation for the outdoors, with a jump in people choosing to visit the outdoors at least once a week up from 56% to 70%. People are also choosing to live near green or blue spaces in ever greater numbers.

The annual survey is conducted as a series of face to face interviews in people’s homes with other areas covered including finances, public services, culture and social issues. It has been running since 1999. 

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