In light of COP26, 1 in 10 Glaswegians consider themselves climate activists according to Census-wide data

Climate activism popular with Scots include a total ban on fossil fuel pollution and a drastic increase in tree planting

FOLLOWING the conclusion of the the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, data from tree-planting search engine Ecosia has revealed how environmentally conscious the Scots really are. 

Overall, many Scots now consider themselves to be climate activists – one in 20 nationally and rising to one in 10 in Glasgow – many are dissatisfied with both the UK and the devolved governments’ handling of the climate crisis, and many are now taking actions into their own hands to limit future climate disasters. 

The Censuswide survey of 2,000 people, commissioned by Ecosia, found that in the wake of recent climatic events and the climate strikes around COP26 conference, more than half of Scots (55%) are now willing to make changes to their general lifestyles in a bid to save the planet. 

Some 41% said they’ve already changed their diet to consume less animal products, and another 12% said they were willing to eat less meat based meals a week – meaning half of all Scots are willing to significantly reduce their consumption of meat and animal products.  

Less than a third of UK respondents said they were not willing to change their personal behaviours to help tackle the climate crisis. Of those who were actively taking steps, one in 20 Scottish respondents now identify as a  climate activist, a figure that rises to one in 10 in Glasgow. 

When it comes to climate activism, 47% of Scots want action taken against the most polluting fossil fuel companies, with  research suggesting that just 100 companies (including the likes of Shell, BP, ExxonMobil) are responsible for 71% of all carbon emissions.  Actions popular with Scots include a total ban on fossil fuel pollution, instead of weakening commitments to reduce them, and a drastic increase in tree planting. 

Despite these positive individual efforts, however, only 36% of people think it’s the responsibility of everyday people to solve the problem. 33% of Scots believe the UK and devolved governments are ultimately responsible for solving the climate crisis and only 5% think it is doing so very sufficiently in the wake of COP26. People in Edinburgh are most likely to put the responsibility on the government – at 59% – which is the highest percentage of any city surveyed across the UK. 

Hannah Wickes, Chief Marketing Officer at Ecosia, commented: “The commitments that have come out of COP26 from world leaders are insufficient. Across the UK and particularly in Scotland, individuals are now  increasingly taking personal steps to tackle the climate crisis, including turning to climate activism. Even with the COP26 pledges, we’re on track for 2.4C of warming which will be catastrophic for many communities across the globe. Urgent action is needed to cut and not expand global coal, oil and gas production over the next 10 years, in order to restrict global heating to 1.5C. We also need to honour pledges to curb deforestation and make this a solid reality well before 2030. “

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