0229 GMT June 16, 2019
The sea-change statistic has been revealed in a YouGov survey that found the issue is considered more critical than immigration, education or defense, dailyrecord.co.uk wrote.
It comes in the wake of increasingly severe warnings from hundreds of the world’s leading scientists that time is running out to prevent catastrophic damage from CO2 emissions that will threaten humanity.
When asked to pick up to three of the most important issues facing the UK, 24 percent of people who took part in the poll chose the environment — the same number who named the economy.
Significantly, when broken down into different age groups, 43 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds believed the environment should be a top priority, compared with just 22 percent who opted for the economy.
Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer said: “It’s no coincidence people increasingly see the environment as equally important as the economy, given that the breakdown in our climate is being caused by the same economic system which keeps thousands of people in low-paid, zero-hours and exploitative work and thousands of others out of work – all of this to make a tiny number of rich people even richer.
“That means the ways we save the planet and lift people out of poverty are one and the same.
“A Green New Deal for Scotland will deliver hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country as we transition away from oil, gas and coal and towards the jobs-rich industries of the future.
“Investing in green transport, for example, can bring jobs to communities who have been left behind, as demonstrated by train manufacturing giant Talgo, who plan to create three times as many skilled jobs on the Longannet site as the former coal-fired power station supported.
“The future is green, it’s full of quality jobs and it’s coming — but only if we fight for it.”
The Scottish Greens have released an ambitious EU election manifesto in which they have urged voters to choose ‘hope over hate’ from UK Independence Party (UKIP) and the Brexit Party.
Key pledges include creating thousands of jobs through a Green New Deal that would breathe life into struggling communities through renewable energy schemes.
The party also vowed to fight to stay in the EU and build a ‘welcoming Scotland in a welcoming Europe’.
Despite the clear evidence that voters now expect action, the most senior adviser on climate change to the Scottish and UK governments last week told the Sunday Mail that both administrations were ‘absolutely not doing enough’.
The most extensive UN report ever published on the environment has warned that humanity is facing an ‘urgent threat’ from the loss of Earth’s natural life.
The report by 455 scientists from 50 countries said lifestyles in rich countries would have to change and consumption of goods stop increasing in order to halt a rapid loss in wildlife that is threatening a million species with extinction.
It called on the governments of wealthy nations to embrace “visions of a good quality of life that do not entail ever-increasing material consumption”.
The authors advised that countries should be “steering away from the current limited paradigm of economic growth”.