ALMOST half of Scots do not trust world leaders to bring forward a solution to save the planet from the climate crisis at COP26, a new poll has revealed.
A YouGov study found that people want to see firm commitments to net zero targets being reached and measures to protect the planet.
Published six weeks before the global climate conference takes place in Glasgow, 65 per cent of Scottish-based respondents for the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) research pointed to COP26 as being important in addressing the climate emergency – despite concerns over the potential success of the summit.
The study also found that two thirds of Scots said financial institutions should have a critical role in addressing the current climate situation, with 36% stating they only want their money invested in companies which have a positive impact on the environment – even if it means lower returns.
The YouGov poll involved 1,002 adults living in Scotland, with fieldwork carried out last month.
But more than 45% of Scots who took part said they do not believe that world leaders will be able to produce workable solutions to the climate crisis at COP26 – despite the event being labelled the “last best chance” of salvaging global efforts to limit global warming by the conference’s president, Alok Sharma.
Only 25% of 45-to-55 year-olds and 32% of 18-to-25 year-olds said they trusted world leaders to deliver a sustainable future for the planet.
The Edinburgh-based GEFI said the role of other institutions like the world’s banks and investment companies will come under even more scrutiny as a result of the findings.
GEFI has been attempting to drive action on green and sustainable finance for more than a decade and has partnered with more than 60 financial organisations as part of the ‘path to COP26’ campaign.
The organisation has also teamed up with Make My Money Matter, the Richard Curtis inspired campaign, to help raise awareness of the power to change the world by choosing where we invest our money.
Omar Shaikh, CEO of GEFI, said: “Confidence in world leaders ahead of COP26 is low, so the role of other institutions like the world’s banks and investment companies is even more important.
“Imagine what Scotland’s £600 billion pension pot could do for our planet.
“The green power of people’s money is not well understood and the Global Ethical Finance Initiative is working with banks and investors across the globe to change the financial system to support a sustainable, zero carbon future.
“This survey shows that we can all take more notice of where our money is invested and make every pound count as part of the solution to the ‘code red’ climate emergency.”