New poll: Scottish voters support net zero and policies to get there

Three-quarters (73%) of Scots support the Scottish Government’s target of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emission by 2045.

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By George Smeeton

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As the Scottish Government announces that it is reducing its emissions target for 2030 [1], new polling by Focaldata for the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) shows that voters in Scotland overwhelming support net zero [2].

The results show around three-quarters (73%) of Scots support the Scottish Government’s target of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emission by 2045, with only 20% opposing.

It also shows that most support policies to get there. Just over three-quarters (76%) support more onshore wind, 83% support more offshore wind and 84% support more solar farms.

Even areas considered more controversial, such as phasing out of gas boilers and encouraging take up of electric heat pumps, saw support of just over half (51%) and doing more to insulate homes and buildings saw the biggest support at 94%.

Domestic heat and buildings, transport and agriculture are all competencies of the Scottish Government.

In March this year the Climate Change Committee rebuked the Scottish Government for failure to update its climate plan and pointed to further slippage in climate policy which meant they did not believe the Scottish Government could meet its 2030 emissions reduction target [3].

Alasdair Johnstone from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit said: “The Scottish Government is pretty much reverting to what the Climate Change Committee recommended in the first place. This looks like incompetence, with common sense policies such as improving insulation rates for homes not properly implemented. Westminster must accept some of the responsibility on this, as the UK Government’s recent record on getting offshore wind farms built has been poor. The end result is that Scotland and the UK will be more dependent on foreign oil and gas as North Sea output continues its inevitable decline and that means more price volatility for bill payers."

In 2017, the Climate Change Committee submitted its advice ahead of the Scottish Government’s climate change legislation [4]. They recommend that Scotland should set a target to reduce emissions by 66% on 1990 levels.

Notes to editors:

1. Scotland to ditch key climate change target:

2. Polling conducted by Focaldata of 1010 adults in Scotland between 13th April – 15th April 2024

3. Climate Change Committee say Scotland’s 2030 climate goals are no longer credible

4. Climate change Committee delivers advice to Scottish Government on new Climate Change Bill

For more information or for interview requests:

George Smeeton, Head of Communications, ECIU, Tel: +44 (0)7894 571 153, email: