AN independent Scotland can establish itself as a global leader in climate action, the Scottish Greens will insist today as they launch their manifesto.

The party, standing in more than 20 Scottish seats, will put climate change, free public transport and revamping region deals at the heart of their appeal to voters.

They will commit to rolling out free public transport, which would be paid for by the doubling of vehicle excise duty on high polluting cars and scrapping the freeze on fuel duty.

The manifesto, to be launched in Glasgow, draws from the party’s Scottish Green New Deal, an action plan designed to address climate change by transitioning from oil and gas as well as massive retraining schemes for those in the sector.

READ MORE: UK held to account over Scots’ green aims to tackle climate change

Party co-leader Lorna Slater said an independent Scotland could be a leading light in climate action worldwide. She said: “This general election comes at a time of unprecedented threats to our democracy, our environment and our future.

“Our Scottish Green New Deal reports have revealed the urgent action the Scottish Government could do now to tackle the climate emergency, to secure thousands of jobs, an integrated public transport system and warm homes for all. But with the powers held by Westminster, we could do so much more. This election is an opportunity to push for a written constitution and citizen’s assemblies, but as an independent European country, Scotland could be an agile leader in the global effort to tackle the climate emergency.”

The Greens have pledged to go further than any other party on climate change. Co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “Other parties have made commitments to address this crisis in their manifestos, but their actions do not match their words.

Labour, for example, have already dropped their 2030 net-zero promise and have recently opened a coal mine in Cumbria. The LibDems talk about giving councils new powers to lower emissions, just a month after they voted against exactly that in Holyrood. The SNP are claiming leadership on this issue while taking money from the oil and aviation giants.

“The clearest way to demand climate action in this election is to vote Scottish Green on December 12.”

Meanwhile, the SNP have announced they will demand the next UK government reduce VAT on green energy improvements in homes as part of its Green Energy Deal.

Ahead of the party’s manifesto launch next week, the SNP revealed that its MPs at Westminster will push for substantial reforms to the UK tax system to support greener choices – including a move to end the Treasury’s 20% tax on home solar panels.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon in warning to UK Government over climate emergency

Dundee West candidate Chris Law said: “For too long now, successive Westminster governments have sat on their hands when it comes to the climate crisis – a vote for SNP at this election a vote to take serious action to make Scotland greener. There is no more time to waste – it’s time for Westminster to get its act together.

“Scotland is already a world-leader on tackling the climate crisis and delivering green energy. It’s time for the UK government to match the SNP’s ambition and cut VAT on energy improvements so more people across Scotland can make their homes greener and warmer.

“This is the most important election in living memory. A vote for the SNP on December 12 is a vote to escape Brexit, put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands, and secure a better future for our environment.”