THE United Kingdom is “incapable of the kind of transformational change” required to tackle the climate crisis, Patrick Harvie has said as he launched the Scottish Greens’ case for independence.

The party’s co-leader told reporters he did not back Yes because of “flags or 300 years of history” but rather as the only vehicle by which Scotland can grapple with the defining issues of the day.

At a launch of the first in a series of papers designed to restate the Scottish Greens’ positions on a range of topics, with a focus on independence, Harvie told attendees at the launch that it was now time for Scotland to “set our sights higher” than the horizon set by the Union.

He said: “It is time for ambitious thinking. It is time for bold and radical action. It is time for independence.

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“The situation we are in is far too urgent for business as usual.”

Speaking afterwards, Harvie said a Yes vote “might even have the chance of inspiring those campaigning for transformational change south of the Border”.

Scottish Greens publish new papers on independence

The first of the Scottish Greens’ documents, published in addition to the Scottish Government’s case for independence, sets out in broad brushstrokes the party’s existing positions on issues such as universal basic income, oil and gas and ending the “racist” hostile environment immigration policies of the UK Government.

Co-leader Lorna Slater gave a short speech at Monday’s event, held in Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, in which she said independence would give Scotland the chance to “be in the room” for key discussions on the planet’s future – such as the COP27, which began on Sunday.

She added: “Independence is not an end in itself. It is just a beginning.

“It would have a huge impact on our ability to tackle the twin crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss and build greener and more sustainable communities.”

Later, Harvie told reporters the document was intended to set out the Scottish Greens’ “distinctive” case for independence – suggesting the party had the ability to move the SNP to the left and towards more radical environmental policies.

He said the UK Government acted to consistently “undermine” Holyrood's ability to take action on the climate crisis – citing the Internal Market Act as a key way in which Westminster has legislated against the devolution settlement.

“If I genuinely looked at the UK Government and the UK political landscape and I saw something that was capable of social and economic and environmental transformation, I would at least look at that argument,” he added.

“I don’t support independence because of flags or 300 years of history, I support independence because I am convinced, after looking at the UK, that it is incapable of delivering the kind of transformational change that is required and that independence would open up that possibility.”