Page last updated at 07:50 GMT, Monday, 7 December 2009

Two-thirds of people in Scotland 'fear climate change'

woman holding climate change placard
Climate change protests were held on the eve of the summit

Almost two-thirds of Scots believe climate change is an immediate and urgent problem, according to a poll commissioned by BBC Scotland.

The survey suggested that a majority (63%) of people in Scotland believed immediate action was required.

A further 20% described climate change as more of a problem for the future.

Another 11% of the more than 1,000 polled said they were not convinced climate change was happening while 4% thought it was not really a problem.

The research was carried out by Ipsos MORI between the 19 and 23 November.

Mark Diffley, research director at Ipsos MORI Scotland, said: "Our poll, conducted on the eve of the Copenhagen summit, shows that the vast majority of Scots acknowledge climate change as a serious issue with around two-thirds viewing it as an immediate and urgent problem, while around one in 10 are unconvinced that it is happening."

He added that the findings showed there was a consensus among the public that human activity was at least partly responsible for causing climate change with six in 10 Scots recognising their own lifestyle and behaviours as having an impact.


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Of the 4% of the people questioned who said humans were not responsible for climate change, 56% said it was a natural process and 18% said there was no proof that humans were to blame.

Representatives from more than 190 countries have gathered in the Danish capital for the discussions, amid calls for more ambitious action to cut greenhouse gas emissions and avert climate change.

Thousands of officials, environmental campaigners, politicians and journalists are descending on Copenhagen for the bid to strike a political deal on curbing emissions and providing finance to help poor countries cope with the impacts of climate change and develop without increasing their pollution.

Scottish minister John Swinney said the Holyrood government had already set its own ambitious targets for combating climate change.

'Direction of travel'

He told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme that the country was in a leading position in terms of wave and tidal power.

Mr Swinney added: "We're comfortably on track to meet our targets of 31% of renewable electricity in place by 2011 and 50% by 2020.

"I think people should have confidence in the direction of travel that we are using renewable energy as a means of strengthening Scotland's energy base, but also combating climate change into the bargain."

Responding to the findings of the poll, Dr Richard Dixon, director of WWF Scotland, said that most people in Scotland "clearly recognised" their actions contribute to the problem of climate change.

He added: "The Scottish public are twice as concerned about climate change as they are about terrorism and overseas war. This strong support for action on climate change is exactly what we need in order to make the Copenhagen talks a success."

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