The charity-commissioned poll found voters across the country support the move.
A new opinion poll has revealed that 64 per cent Scots support the introduction of a carbon emissions tax on Scotland’s biggest landholdings, with just 14 per cent opposed to the proposal.
The poll – commissioned by the wild places charity, the John Muir Trust – found a resounding majority in favour of the tax across all eight Scottish Parliamentary regions, and all age groups.
An overwhelming majority of voters from all parties apart from the Conservatives expressed support for the policy, while even among the latter group, support for the tax outnumbers opposition.
The John Muir Trust has brought forward a proposal for a Carbon Emissions Land Tax on all public, private and NGO landholdings over one thousand hectares, with an exemption for community landowners.
The proposal is backed by a diverse and growing coalition of over thirty community groups, trade unions, churches, charities, and businesses representing over a million members, including Oxfam, the STUC, the Scottish Community Alliance, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, the Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland, and the Quakers.
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, minimising climate damage, and strengthening communities.
Almost 80 per cent of voters say that “landowners who produce polluting greenhouse gases should have to pay for any costs resulting from it”.
Under the John Muir Trust’s proposal, the Scottish Government would give councils the power to introduce the tax locally at their own discretion with all revenues retained by councils for spending on projects that would contribute to climate and biodiversity. These could include widening concessionary public transport, cycling infrastructure, new rail stations, improved council house energy efficiency and community nature restoration projects.
The poll comes as the Scottish Parliament’s summer recess ends and MSPs are due to begin working on the Land Reform bill. The John Muir Trust argues that widespread popular support for a Carbon Emissions Land Tax shows Scotland is ready for transformative land use change.
The John Muir Trust has now launched a public petition in support of the tax.