Independence could help create a “greener, cleaner and nuclear-free” Scotland and allow it to “lead the world” in tackling climate change, the Scottish Government claims.
Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead set out five “green gains” that independence could bring to Scotland, including laying out environmental protection in a written constitution and getting a “fairer share” of EU funding to target environmental schemes.
He added it would also help create a nuclear-free nation and representation in Europe “with the opportunity to drive the policy agenda and help the continent meet its own challenges”.
Scotland has set an ambitious target to meet 100% of its energy needs from renewable sources by the end of the decade.
Mr Lochhead believes the nation is “being held back by the current constitutional settlement”.
He added: “With independence, we can seize the opportunity to place the environment at the heart of our nation by enshrining environmental protection in a written constitution.
“In the EU, independence gives Scotland the opportunity to drive the policy agenda, help Europe meet its own challenges – which include producing enough clean and secure energy – and negotiate a fairer share of rural development funding to target at environmental schemes.”
He went on: “And an independent Scotland will show international leadership in tackling climate change, with a seat at the global top table enabling us to inspire and influence others to follow our ambition.”
Last month Energy Secretary Ed Davey claimed independence could push up Scottish consumers’ energy bills by nearly £200 per household and hundreds of thousands of pounds for a medium sized manufacturer.