THE UK Government must shelve its "ill thought out" plans to expand nuclear power and allow further oil and gas exploration, the Scottish Greens have said. 

The Tories released thousands of pages of documents on Thursday as part of what was billed as Green Day – big new proposals to help the UK reach its environmental targets.

Experts largely argued that there was little of actual substance in the announcements, with most of the money already having been earmarked in the past.

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The Scottish Greens were no exception, saying it was “ill thought out” and “does not live up to the scale of the crisis that we face”.

They took particular aim at Tory plans to expand the UK’s nuclear power capacity.

Last November, the Government announced the establishment of Great British Nuclear – a body which is meant to support the industry.

On Thursday, it announced the names of the two experts who will lead the agency and said it would be based in the Greater Manchester area. It did not appear to reveal any new funding for the body, however.

The Greens decried nuclear power as “costly” and said it will leave a “toxic legacy”. They also asked for assurances that taxpayers in Scotland won’t pay for nuclear reactors across the UK given the Scottish Government is opposed to nuclear power.

Mark Ruskell, Scottish Greens energy and environment spokesperson, said: “These plans are ill thought out and do not live up to the scale of the crisis that we face. A lot of these announcements are rehashed and will not address the biggest problem of all, which is our dependence on oil and gas.

“Grant Shapps may talk a good game about wind power, but his government is also planning 100 climate-wrecking oil licences for the north sea. The two are completely incompatible.

“There are renewables projects that could be delivering the climate action we need here and now, but they are stuck waiting years for a connection to the electricity grid. Unless the UK Government acts to speed up grid connections it will hold back Scotland’s renewable ambitions.

“Instead we are seeing a big emphasis on nuclear energy, which is no solution. It is extremely costly, dangerous and takes years, if not decades, to become operational. It will also leave a toxic legacy for future generations.

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“It will only drive up bills further. The Scottish Government has rightly opposed nuclear power in Scotland, and we must ensure that people in Scotland are not paying for a project that we have opposed time and again.

“The climate emergency is happening all around us, we don't have time to waste by pouring billions of pounds of public money into fossil fuels and unproven and money-haemorrhaging technologies."

Ruskell said investment should be in renewables that "we already have and that we know works".

He added: “Here in Scotland, we are taking ambitious steps to boost investment in renewables and drive a just transition away from fossil fuels. We have an abundance of clean and natural resources that will allow us to build a greener future.”