A MAJORITY of Scots support the introduction of a carbon emissions tax on Scotland’s biggest estates, according to a new poll.

Last month, a range of community groups, trade unions, charities and businesses backed proposals from wild places charity the John Muir Trust calling on the Scottish Government to introduce a world-leading tax for greenhouse gas emissions on landholdings over 1000 hectares in Scotland.

The tax was proposed as a way of encouraging large landowners to manage their properties in a manner which realises the potential of their land to sequester carbon and making them pay for failing to do so.

Now, a poll commissioned by the John Muir Trust has found that a majority of Scots are in favour of the tax.

It found that 64% of those surveyed supported the introduction of a carbon land tax on Scotland’s biggest landholdings, with just 14% opposed to the proposal.

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Voters from all parties backed the policy. Even among Tories support for the tax outnumbered opposition.

Mike Daniels, head of policy for the John Muir Trust, said: “Much of Scotland’s land, especially in the mountains and uplands, is failing to pull its weight in helping the nation deliver climate and biodiversity targets. The Scottish Government is now trying to address this huge gap. We applaud these efforts.

“This YouGov poll should give confidence to politicians to act boldly. There is clearly a great public appetite for using fiscal measures to compel big landowners to face up to their responsibilities and manage their land in the wider public interest.

"This level of support gives the Scottish Government the mandate required to legislate for a new Carbon Emissions Land Tax.”

The poll also found overwhelming support for landowners to take responsibility for improving nature and minimising climate damage.

Almost 80% of voters agreed that “landowners who produce polluting greenhouse gases should have to pay for any costs resulting from it”.

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So far, organisations such as Oxfam, the Scottish Trades Union Congress, and Stop Climate Chaos Scotland have lent their support to the proposal.

Under the John Muir Trust’s plans, revenue from the scheme would be retained by local councils, who would also be given the power to introduce the tax in the first place.

The trust would like to see the money generated ringfenced for spending on projects which contribute to climate and biodiversity.

It comes as the Scottish Parliament’s summer recess is set to end and MSPs are due to begin working the Land Reform Bill.

A petition in support of the tax has also been launched by the John Muir Trust.