SCOTTISH environment minister Màiri McAllan has said independence and “full borrowing powers” would allow Scotland to make greater progress on green targets.

The Scottish Government has previously set out legislation for net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045.

Speaking on a COP27 special on BBC’s Debate Night on Wednesday evening, McAllan was asked why other countries were doing “faster” and “better” than Scotland on climate targets.

She replied: “Maybe because other countries are independent, they’ve got full borrowing powers.

“Powers over energy generation and regulation would be a nice start.”

Host Stephen Jardine then said: “Well England aren’t. England aren’t any faster on this than we are.”

McAllan continued: “I am done trying to answer for why the Tories make the decisions they do at UK Government level, I can’t fathom.

“But look in Scotland, we last summer, Scottish National Party did a historic deal with the Scottish Greens to come in together in government through the Bute House agreement and now my colleague Patrick Harvie, the co-convener of the Greens, he is leading the housing and energy programme in Scotland.

“And that relies on a combination of that core energy efficiency, not very glamorous but absolutely critical, the rollout of renewable heating sources, which yes is expensive but actually will create good green jobs in our communities.

“And at the same time we are moving into a period where we will be generating world-leading, previously unknown levels of renewable electricity.”

Ahead of COP27, the Royal Bank of Scotland released a study which revealed a potential green economy boom.

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The report found that to realise the £22 billion boost, new businesses were needed to retrofit homes across the country as well as service Scotland’s renewable energy infrastructure.

McAllan continued: “For example, if you’ll just bear with me, we are consulting right now on doubling the onshore wind capacity in Scotland, we already got about eight gigawatts operational. We’re consulting on doubling that.

“And this year we completed the world’s largest offshore, floating wind round off the coast of Scotland which could produce up to 27 gigawatts of electricity so we’re talking about a trebling of what we were producing before.

“We are at the precipice of a period of really significant change. It will be good for us because we will reduce emissions, it may help our pockets in certain ways and it will create those green jobs and industries of the future.”

A report released earlier this year suggested Scotland’s renewable energy industry could be worth up to £1bn a year – a figure which could triple in size by 2030.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon attended COP27 this week where she pledged £5 million to help countries across the world hit hardest by climate change.

McAllan added: “The two gentlemen at the front that asked questions about why are we pushing ourselves when other countries around the world are still polluting.

“Well, really it’s the moral thing to do but equally it creates that economic opportunity for us for the future and I know as the youngest member of the Scottish Government, I take my responsibility to young people very seriously, I speak with them, they want these jobs in the future.”