Publication - Research and analysis

Scottish household survey 2017: climate change topic report

Published: 4 Sep 2018

Key findings on climate change from the Scottish Household Survey 2017.

18 page PDF

1.3 MB

18 page PDF

1.3 MB

Contents
Scottish household survey 2017: climate change topic report
Taking action to tackle climate change

18 page PDF

1.3 MB

Taking action to tackle climate change

People’s attitudes towards taking action to address climate change will be influenced by, among other things, their views about whether climate change will affect Scotland; whether their everyday behaviours and lifestyles contribute to climate change; whether any actions they take would have an impact on climate change; and whether they know what actions to take personally.

Respondents’ views were explored by inviting them to agree or disagree with four statements about their attitudes and behaviours. The statements vary in terms of whether agreement or disagreement represents a favourable attitude towards taking action to tackle climate change.

"Climate change will only have an impact on other countries, there is no need for me to worry".

In 2017, there was strong disagreement with this statement: 77 per cent of adults disagreed, of whom 48 per cent strongly disagreed. This has stayed the same since 2015. This suggests that the majority of people believe that climate change will have an impact on Scotland, as well as on other countries.

Agreement with statement: "Climate change will only have an impact on other countries, there is no need for me to worry"
Base: 3,160

Agreement with statement: 'Climate change will only have an impact on other countries, there is no need for me to worry' Base: 3,160

The pattern of responses to the four attitude and behaviour questions is very similar to the pattern in relation to perceptions about climate change as an immediate and urgent problem. The age groups more likely to perceive climate change as an immediate and urgent problem are also more likely to have favourable attitudes towards action to tackle climate change. The same pattern is evident according to respondents’ educational qualifications and whether they live in less or more deprived areas.

"It’s not worth me doing things to help the environment if others don’t do the same".

Fewer than one in five adults agreed with this statement. This suggests that the majority of people believe that their individual actions can help the environment, regardless of the actions of others.

Agreement with statement:
"It’s not worth me doing things to help the environment if others don’t do the same"

Base: 3,160

Agreement with statement: 'It’s not worth me doing things to help the environment if others don’t do the same' Base: 3,160

"I don’t believe my behaviour and everyday lifestyle contribute to climate change".

Nearly six out of ten disagreed with this statement. The proportion of adults who strongly disagreed increased between 2015 and 2017. This suggests that a majority of people agree that there is a link between their own behaviours and everyday lifestyle and climate change.

Agreement with statement:
"I don’t believe that my behaviour and everyday lifestyle contribute to climate change"

Base: 3,160

Agreement with statement: 'I don’t believe that my behaviour and everyday lifestyle contribute to climate change' Base: 3,160

"I understand what actions people like myself should take to help tackle climate change".

73% of adults agree with this statement, with an increase in strong agreement compared with 2015.

This suggests that a majority of people believe that they know what actions they could take personally. However it would not show whether they actually do know what they could do; or whether they are taking any action in practice.

Ten Key Behaviour Areas, where individuals can really make a difference at the present time are listed in the Low Carbon Scotland: A Behaviours Framework, on p.6.

Agreement with statement:
"I understand what actions people like myself should take to help tackle climate change"
by highest level of qualification

Base (minimum): 3,100

Agreement with statement: 'I understand what actions people like myself should take to help tackle climate change' by highest level of qualification Base (minimum): 3,100

Contact

Email: Emma McCallum