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Climate change - Net Zero Nation - draft public engagement strategy: consultation analysis

Analysis of the responses to the public consultation on the climate change - Net Zero Nation: draft public engagement strategy, which sets out our framework for engaging the people of Scotland in the transition to a net zero nation which is prepared for the effects of our changing climate.


5. Encouraging action

This chapter contains an analysis of responses to questions nine and ten, which explore the theme of encouraging action. Question nine asked respondents for their views on the Scottish Government's approach to encouraging action on climate change.

Key Findings:

  • Respondents were supportive of the approach to encouraging action and receptive to the seven sub-sections of the approach.
  • The 'Supporting Community Climate Change Action' sub-section received most praise for noting the value of using local initiatives and community approaches to address the climate change emergency.
  • Many were supportive of the 'Supporting Climate Change Education' sub-section and agreed that climate change education should be integrated into the curriculum. However, they felt that more funding and more support for education leaders and teachers would be required for this to be successfully embedded.
  • The 'Supporting Key Messengers' section of the draft strategy was met with enthusiasm by as it was felt this approach would help reach a variety of audiences.
  • While respondents were generally supportive, some described the approach as too vague or general and requested more detail about how the Scottish Government will encourage action. Some called for a greater sense of urgency in the approach. A few felt the approach focuses too strongly on individual responsibility, and others commented on the importance of the Government's role in leading the approach.

Q9. What are your views on our approach to encouraging action?

Question nine was answered by over four fifths of respondents (147/178). Generally, respondents were supportive with over two fifths endorsing the approach. Respondents particularly welcomed the 'Supporting Community Climate Change Action' section of the draft strategy. Some respondents called for more detail to be set out or for a greater sense of urgency in the approach. A few felt that the approach focuses too strongly on individual responsibility, and others commented about the importance of the Government's role in leading the approach.

Support for the approach to encouraging action

The most prevalent theme in responses to question nine was general support for the approach to encouraging action, with respondents describing this section of the draft strategy as "particularly strong", "sensible", and "comprehensive".

Respondents were generally receptive to the seven sub-sections of the approach to encouraging action; specific feedback on each section is provided below.

"The CLD Standards Council recognises that supporting community climate action, supporting key messengers, supporting climate change education, connecting with nature, connecting to culture and heritage and promoting a place-based approach are important aspects of encouraging action on climate change issues by individuals and communities; and that marketing campaigns focusing on the potential for people to take action on climate change have a place within a suite of approaches." – Community Learning and Development Standards Council Scotland

Supporting Community Climate Change Action

The 'Supporting Community Climate Change Action' section received the most praise from respondents, who recognised the value of using local initiatives and community approaches to address the climate change emergency. Respondents were particularly receptive to the idea of Community Climate Action Hubs. In addition, the Climate Challenge Fund was celebrated by some respondents.

Supporting Climate Change Education

Many respondents were supportive of the 'Supporting Climate Change Education' section of the approach and agreed that climate change education should be integrated into the school curriculum. However, they felt that more funding and more support for education leaders and teachers would be required for this to be successfully embedded. A few noted that the approach was too focused on teaching young people the scientific aspects of climate change instead of the wider social, economic, and political structures that contribute to the climate emergency. Others raised the idea of extending climate change education beyond schools into workplaces and community settings like youth groups.

Supporting Key Messengers

The 'Supporting Key Messengers' section of the draft strategy was met with enthusiasm by several respondents who felt this approach would help reach a variety of audiences. A few requested more detail on who the Key Messengers would be and how this approach would be delivered.

Promoting a Place-Based Approach

Several respondents welcomed the 'Promoting a Place-Based Approach' section, agreeing that this is a suitable strategy to encourage public action. They voiced a belief that the public will feel a greater sense of agency and be more likely to take action if climate change is connected to the place where they live. A few noted that they were pleased to see the 20-minute neighbourhood concept discussed in this section.

Culture and Heritage

Few respondents made specific comments about the 'Culture and Heritage' section of the approach. Those who did were pleased with its inclusion. A few recommended that the art, culture and heritage sector play a more prominent role in the Government's approach to encouraging action on climate change.

Connecting with Nature

A few endorsed the 'Connecting with Nature' section, saying that it provides a good understanding of the connected challenges of reducing biodiversity loss and climate change.

Marketing Campaigns

The multi-channel approach set out in the 'Marketing Campaigns' section was praised by a few respondents. However, others suggested this approach could be improved. Some urged the Government to promote case studies of green initiatives to inspire individuals, communities and businesses to adopt more environmentally friendly behaviours.

"Case studies and sharing ideas across communities is also vital so that people recognise what works and what can be replicated." – Dynamic Earth

Other suggestions included: promote content more actively on social media; involve young people in the design of a national climate change marketing campaign; and improve signposting to resources and documents that outline what people can do to take action.

Calls for urgency and more detailed actions to be set out

While respondents were generally supportive of the approach, some described it as too vague or general and requested more detail about the specific steps that the Scottish Government will take to encourage action. Others stressed that the approach does not reflect the urgency of the climate emergency. A few expressed concerns that the approach is too focused on raising awareness as opposed to encouraging action.

Scottish Government leadership

Several respondents commented on the Scottish Government's role in encouraging action, stressing the importance of leadership. Respondents felt that MSPs and other elected representatives must provide strong, bold and honest leadership and clear overall direction for the climate change response.

Some argued that the best way to encourage action would be for the Government to introduce new legislation, regulations and financial measures. Suggestions included: restrictions on air travel; limitations on single-use plastics; reducing speed limits on motorways; incentives for installing green measures; introducing a carbon tax; regulations requiring that the carbon footprint of products/services (e.g. flights) are stated in advertising materials.

Individual responsibility

Some respondents felt that the approach focuses too closely on encouraging individuals to make behaviour and lifestyle changes. They added that the strategy should highlight the wider systemic changes needed from public and private institutions in the fight against climate change. Others commented that industries (such as the fuel and fast fashion industries) and corporations should be held accountable for their emissions and be made to integrate more sustainable processes into their operations.

Q10. Are you aware of any practical examples or case studies of good practice for encouraging climate change action that could be useful for informing our approach?

Question ten asked respondents to share examples of good practice for encouraging climate change action. Over three fifths of respondents (110/178) answered question ten. Respondents shared a broad range of examples of case studies and initiatives for encouraging climate change action.

A full analysis of question ten is in Appendix B. In summary, the majority of examples described by respondents were local community projects and initiatives based in Scotland. A few respondents provided examples of initiatives to encourage action on climate change delivered by local councils in Scotland. Examples of good practice in education were also shared, for example Keep Scotland Beautiful described successful initiatives that they had run within schools:

"Our Eco-Schools Scotland and Climate Ready Classrooms programmes have proven highly successful in driving climate action in schools across Scotland: as, for example, at Bo'ness Academy in Falkirk, where pupils who took part in Climate Ready Classrooms were inspired to advocate for whole-school changes such as meat-free days in the cafeteria and reduced cup usage in the school café." – Keep Scotland Beautiful

Some respondents described ways in which other countries have encouraged climate change action.

Contact

Email: pesconsultation@gov.scot

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