SURGING levels of concern about climate change have left 70% of people in Scotland supporting further action across a range of sectors to tackle it, according to a new survey.

YouGov’s research for Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) comes as the world’s leading climate scientists – the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – gather in Edinburgh this week, and as Holyrood prepares to debate the Scottish Government’s Climate Bill for the first time tomorrow .

The IPCC delivered last year’s landmark warning about the urgent need to rapidly change our economies and societies to avoid increased global warming.

According to the survey, 78% of respondents are either more concerned about climate change or as concerned as they were 12 months ago; one in three are more concerned now than a year ago; 70% support Scotland taking greater action in transport, food and homes to tackle climate change; and 88% of SNP voters support Scotland taking greater action over the next few years across similar sectors to prevent climate change.

It also showed the most common reasons for fears over the issue are concern for future generations (71%), threat to wildlife (65%), natural disasters (62%) and rising sea levels (60%).

Gail Wilson, SCCS campaigns manager, said: “This new polling shows that people in Scotland recognise the seriousness of the situation and want more action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“As 200 leading UN scientists from around the world gather in Edinburgh this week, MSPs at Holyrood must take note of the growing clamour for urgent action on climate change.

“Mounting scientific evidence from world experts, alongside increasing levels of public support mean Scotland’s new climate law must rise to address the scale of the crisis presented.”

Jamie Livingstone, head of Oxfam Scotland, a member of SCCS, said: “Despite doing least to cause it, climate change is hitting the world’s poorest people hardest, forcing people from their homes and increasing hunger.

“Worryingly, climate change makes extreme weather events, like the devastating Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, much more likely. As a nation which has historically profited from fossil fuels, Scotland has a duty to act with greater urgency when tackling climate change and it’s hugely encouraging that people support faster action.

“Humanity needs bold, brave leadership and action right now – and Scotland has the chance to show genuine leadership.”

Head of planning for another SCCS member, RSPB Scotland, Aedan Smith, said: “Climate change is already starting to impact on wildlife in Scotland and the IPCC have identified climate change as one of the biggest threats to wildlife right across the world.

“However, it is very encouraging that so many Scots are both concerned about the threat of climate change to wildlife and would also support more action in Scotland to tackle climate change.”

The IPCC’s report last year found that limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require “rapid and far-reaching” transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. Professor Jim Skea, co-chair of an IPCC working group, told the Scottish Parliament’s Environment Committee on the Climate Bill: “Everything that you do now will buy you benefits further down the line.”