BEFORE I was elected, I worked as an engineer in tidal energy.

The project I was working on launched the world’s biggest tidal device into Scottish waters. This giant turbine made its way from Dundee, where it was assembled, to Orkney, where it will generate enough electricity to power 2000 homes. World-leading, cutting-edge technology, developed, assembled and installed in Scotland.

The global transition to a net-zero economy is accelerating, and there is no doubt in my mind that Scotland has the renewable resources and talent to lead this. We can be at the forefront of new industries and innovations such as tidal power, driving forward Scotland’s and the world’s response to the climate emergency while building a new and prosperous economy.

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But our hands are tied behind our backs by a Westminster that remains wedded to the technologies of the past, that is unable to imagine change and that is fundamentally disinterested in building an economy that works for everyone across Scotland.

We don’t have the power to upgrade our own electricity grid, or to connect our vast renewable resources to continental Europe so we can sell our excess zero-carbon energy. We don’t have the power to change VAT to make it cheaper to upgrade our homes and install heat pumps, or the freedom to invest the public money that is needed into the infrastructure and industries of the future, as the rest of Europe is doing.

The National: Renewable energy is key to Scotland's futureRenewable energy is key to Scotland's future

With the Greens co-operating in government, we are using every lever available to tackle the climate emergency and secure a green economic recovery for all. We are growing the renewables sector, investing in public transport, making bus travel free for young people, supporting supply-chain investments and ensuring the money we spend has maximum benefit by making it conditional on fair work standards such as paying the Living Wage.

I’ve no doubt that we are making a huge difference, but I also know that we could do so much more with the powers that would come with independence.

Just look at what other European countries of a similar size are doing. Denmark, for example, pioneered the development of the global wind industry, and is now home to the world’s largest turbine manufacturer, while Austria is reforming its tax system to curb emissions. And the European Union itself is working together to invest a trillion euros into the green transition.

Like our European neighbours, the government of an independent Scotland could take the decisions it needs to build a fairer, greener and more prosperous country, and as part of the European Union we could be reaping the rewards of collaborating beyond borders and having direct access to one of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing green markets.

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For me, this is what an independence referendum is about. A positive and vibrant vision for a Scotland that is empowered and able to deliver on our aspirations. A Scotland that can take the vast opportunity presented by our renewable resources and talented workforce to drive forward a just transition to a zero-carbon economy in Scotland, across Europe and the world.

This article was part of our eight-page independence special, with one million copies printed and distributed. Click here to find out more