North Sea energy gets thumbs up from Scots  

True North has today unveiled the first tranche of results from our first major Scotland-wide issues poll of 2024. The highlights as follows: 
💷 By a factor of 5 to 1 people across Scotland think that energy companies operating in the North Sea have a positive impact on the UK economy. 
🛢 Despite calls from some political quarters to accelerate the winding down the UK’s oil and gas production, three quarters of Scots think that the UK should meet its ongoing demand for hydrocarbons from domestic sources — with less than 10% of people who think we should rely on imports. 
🌊 By a factor of nearly 3 to 1 people think that the UK government was right to grant new oil and gas licenses in UK waters. 
There is more of a mixed picture in terms of public views towards developing new nuclear power in Scotland, with 32% of the public in favour of the Scottish Government’s existing policy to block new nuclear plants with 38% who oppose this position. 
🌬 The Scottish public is broadly supportive of new wind farm developments, both onshore and offshore, with 61% supporting turbines located on land and 65% supporting the deployment of offshore wind. 
🍃 The survey also gauged public opinion on Scottish Government targets to phase out gas boilers and new petrol and diesel cars. 
🤔 Only 35% of the public think that the Scottish Government’s plans to phase out gas boilers by 2045 is achievable, with 56% harbouring doubts around whether this can be achieved. 
🚘 People are even more sceptical around the 2030 ambition to phase out petrol and diesel cars, with 70% considering this target unachievable. 
🤝 With two governments bearing responsibility for Scotland’s energy policy, Scots overwhelmingly recognise the importance of partnership working between Westminster and Holyrood to deliver energy security and unlock net zero. 
📈 With sustained high global oil and gas prices since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and conflict in the Middle East, the UK government has imposed a windfall tax on the profits of the energy sector. The poll shows that a majority of people in Scotland believe that revenues from North Sea oil and gas should be ring fenced for investment in renewable energy and achieving net zero. 
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿First Minister Humza Yousaf has set out his ambition to make Scotland ‘the Net Zero Capital of the World’, however only 28% of respondents are convinced that his government is enacting the right policies on energy to deliver this aim. 

Read more news and insights from True North here

Fergus Mutch

Managing Partner

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