A major annual survey has found for the first time a majority of people in all age groups across Scotland believe climate change is an “immediate and urgent problem”.
More than 10,000 households took part in the 2019 Scottish Household Survey and around seven in 10 adults (68%) agreed with this view of climate change.
This has risen steadily from 46% in 2013, when the question was first included in the survey, and is up four percentage points on 2018.
This increase has been most prominent among 16 to 24-year-olds, rising from one in four (38%) in 2013 to one in seven (69%) in 2019.
The Scottish Greens said the survey results mean it is time for the Scottish Government to “stop tinkering at the edges and finally deliver an emergency response” to climate change.
Researchers found less than half (46%) of people aged 75 and over believed climate change to be an immediate and urgent problem in 2018, rising to 56% in 2019.
The proportion of people aged 60-74 who agree with the statement also rose by 10 percentage points between 2018 and 2019, to 68%.
People aged 35-44 and 45-59 were most likely to agree climate change is an immediate and urgent problem, at 72%, compared with 69% of those aged 16-24.
A total of 6% of survey respondents across all age groups in 2019 said they are “still not convinced that climate change is happening”, down from 13% in 2013.
More than one in 10 (14%) said climate change is more of a problem for the future while 3% said climate change is “not really a problem”.
Adults with a higher educational qualification or who live in a less deprived area were more likely to agree that climate change was immediate and urgent.
Four in five (80%) people surveyed who had a degree or professional qualification had this view of climate change, compared with 40% of those with no qualifications.
Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “An overwhelming majority of Scots in every age group now recognise that the climate emergency is an immediate and urgent problem.
“It’s time for the Scottish Government to stop tinkering at the edges and finally deliver an emergency response.
“We’ve shown how climate action can support hundreds of thousands of jobs, deliver a fair transition for those currently working in fossil fuels industries and make our villages, towns and cities healthier places to live. All that’s missing is government will.
“Investment in improving the rail network, building a green bus fleet, powering our communities, preserving peatlands, and protecting and enhancing ancient woodlands are just some of the ways action could be taken in Scotland today to tackle the climate crisis and help deliver a green recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
“Now that the government knows it has the public behind it, it no longer has any excuses for inaction.”
A total of 10,577 householders took part in the wide-ranging survey, which also covers subjects including housing, community, religious belief, internet use and public service satisfaction.
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe