Independence: what you need to know

Information about Scotland's future.

Energy and climate change

The Scottish Government’s policies for an independent Scotland at a glance

  • using powers over energy market design to introduce reforms
  • investing in renewables, zero emissions and energy efficiency measures
  • using money raised through oil and gas for long-term benefits
  • as a European Union member state, Scotland could help the EU to achieve its net zero ambitions and climate change and biodiversity goals

Energy prices and the energy market

Rising energy costs, being driven by the price of gas, have reinforced the need to move to lower-priced, renewable energy.

Under this government’s proposals, an independent Scotland would use powers over energy market design to provide support for flexible, green energy generation. By creating more renewable energy in Scotland, there would be less reliance on high-cost gas and security of supply would be increased.

This government would seek to implement reforms to the electricity market to provide a greener, more efficient way of heating homes. The reforms would include making it more affordable to switch from gas boilers to heat pumps, creating an opportunity to lower heating costs for homes in Scotland.

The proposed Building a New Scotland Fund would invest in programmes to improve the energy efficiency of homes and buildings, protecting the poorest and most vulnerable from rising energy costs.

You can find out more about the fund and these proposals in the economy paper.

Just transition and net zero energy

Work to deliver a just transition is already underway in Scotland.  A ‘just transition’ means making sure Scotland’s journey to reducing its emissions is fair and creates a better future for everyone, no matter where they live, what they do, and who they are. Under this government’s proposals, including a new Building a New Scotland Fund, the economy paper proposes further support for the transition to net zero.

The scope of the fund would include:

  • improving the energy efficiency of homes and buildings and investing in programmes to replace gas boilers with zero emission heating systems
  • investing in energy generation and storage (including hydrogen, which is a low carbon source of energy) to ensure security of supplies and reduce reliance on electricity imports
  • setting up a Zero Emissions Transport Transition Fund to support businesses to move to zero emissions vehicles

This government would maximise home-grown, renewable power generation, which can reduce exposure to volatile global gas prices. 

It would look to support new and evolving technologies and consider public sector involvement in energy projects.

Read more about energy and climate change policies in the economy paper.

Just transition and oil and gas

The oil and gas sector continues to be an important part of the Scottish economy and can play a positive role in Scotland’s energy transition. 

The Scottish Government is committed to a just transition that supports those currently employed in oil and gas to capitalise on the employment opportunities of net zero energy.

The Building a New Scotland Fund would reinvest money raised through oil and gas, alongside any other unexpected ‘windfall’ incomes, into infrastructure projects to support the Scottish economy.

Climate change and migration

The climate crisis is the defining challenge of our time, and its impacts are being felt most by some of the most vulnerable people in the global south. More about how a safe route to Scotland could be established for those forcibly displaced by climate change can be found in the migration paper.

More information will be added to these pages as the Building a New Scotland papers are published.

European Union membership

This Scottish Government’s proposal is that an independent Scotland would apply to re-join the European Union (EU) as soon as possible.

Scotland has significant renewable energy resources which make it well placed to supply clean energy and to contribute to the EU’s energy security and transition to a low-carbon society. As an independent EU member state, Scotland could therefore help the EU achieve its net zero ambitions and climate change goals.

You can read more about EU membership in the European Union section of these pages, or in the Independent Scotland in the European Union paper.

Renewable energy

Scotland has great renewable energy potential. In an independent Scotland, this Scottish Government could generate enough cheap, green electricity to power our economy and support thousands of jobs and communities. 

  • independence would provide Scotland with powers to better support the sustainable development of our offshore renewable energy sector and delivery our net zero commitments
  • Scotland’s tidal energy and green hydrogen potential make it ideally placed to contribute to both domestic and European agendas 

Read more detail about the potential of Scotland’s seas in the marine paper.


The Scottish Government’s policies for the marine sector in an independent Scotland at a glance:  

  • re-join the European Union (EU) which would provide Scotland’s marine sector with access to the Single Market and the free movement of people 
  • create stronger local economies and sustain jobs in our coastal and island communities 
  • negotiate for Scotland’s interests in fisheries and other international negotiations without requiring UK Government consent 
  • maximise the energy potential of Scotland’s seas to help support a just transition to clean energy
  • protect Scotland’s marine environment and tackle climate change 

An independent Scotland’s marine sector  

Scotland is a proud maritime nation. Its seas, coasts and islands form an important part of its national identity, cultural heritage and way of life.

Scotland is a proud maritime nation. Scottish vessels account for over 60% of the value and tonnage of all landings by UK fishing vessels.

Scotland’s marine sector includes:

  • the marine, coastal and freshwater environment of Scotland
  • the industries and communities it sustains
  • the laws and science that support and manage it

Scotland’s marine industries provide significant economic social and environmental benefits for Scotland. They:

  • contribute significantly to our economy, with Scottish farmed salmon being the UK’s biggest single food exports
  • generate billions of pounds every year
  • create and sustain jobs and businesses in coastal and island communities

Scotland's seas and coasts

  • bring benefits to people’s health and wellbeing
  • provide high quality seafood produce for markets at home and abroad
  • support a diverse range of businesses, jobs and leisure activities

Scotland’s marine environment has vast sustainable development potential. This Scottish Government believes the Scottish Parliament and Government require control over all the powers and tools they need to give the marine sector the support it needs and the prioritisation it deserves.

An independent Scotland would be able to:

  • make decisions and choices about the future of our marine sector
  • manage Scotland’s marine resources, including fisheries, sustainably to support economic growth in rural, island and coastal communities
  • protect Scotland’s marine resources to help tackle climate change and biodiversity loss and make sure the marine ecosystems stay healthy

Read more detail in the marine paper. 

European Union membership

Following a vote for independence, Scotland would apply to re-join the European Union (EU) as soon as possible. As an independent member of the EU Scotland would: 

  • be part of the Single Market and have unrestricted access to the one of the world’s largest market for seafood products 
  • help to ensure coastal and island communities thrive by having full powers to attract people to Scotland to live, work, study, raise their families and build their lives
  • have access to a larger labour market with no restrictions on employing EU citizens to work in Scotland 
  • benefit from the EU’s role in setting, monitoring and enforcing common environmental standards   
  • have access to EU funding programmes and more opportunities for collaboration on marine science 
  • negotiate for Scotland’s interests in international marine forums, especially for fishing and our coastal communities, without reliance on the UK Government  
  • have the ability to influence and vote on future EU legislation
  • play a constructive role in supporting the advancement of the Common Fisheries policy and other parts of EU law.

More information is available in the:

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