Poll highlights need to collaborate

ARGUABLY the key message coming out of Scotland’s Countdown to COP26 event was the importance of collaboration and innovation in tackling climate change.

A poll of delegates revealed virtually all – 99 per cent – believe that collaboration is crucial with 82% stating that innovation is also the way forward. However, just 13% are of the opinion that Scotland can meet its 2045 net-zero targets although 83% agree that while it is likely, it won’t be easy.

The primary responsibility to reduce carbon pollution and help achieve those net-zero targets for society lies with Government, according to the poll with 22% pointing out that citizens have a responsibility, 17% saying it should be the corporate/private sector, 4% the public sector and just 1% SMEs.

Asked who would be quickest to change behaviour and adopt sustainable, green and innovative technological solutions, 21% suggested that corporates/private sector would be first out of the starting blocks followed by 19% for citizens, and 18% for Government and SMEs.

Meanwhile, it emerged that 28% thought the most important factor in achieving net zero, just transition and decarbonisation came down to individual behaviours with the mindset and will to change. This was followed by 27% for environment policy with 17% opting for funding/investment to adopt innovation as the most important factor. Interestingly, just 8% highlighted educational awareness.

The final poll asked which topic delegates would most like to see highlighted in the next event in The Herald’s Countdown to COP 26 series. The highest vote was for “financing our net-zero future” – 23% – followed by “public and private-sector collaboration” at 17%, “rethinking land use for net zero at 11% and education at 10%.

Scotland’s Countdown to COP26 event, organised by The Herald and Scotland’s Innovation Centres, saw over 2,000 delegates pre-register for a day of virtual debate and networking ahead of the UN climate change conference taking place in Glasgow in 2021.