We have identified over 650 questions and answers concerning many of the topics featured on this site. The information is categorised and can be reached by navigating via the entries below.

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What priority will be given to protecting the environment in an independent Scotland?

Scotland’s natural environment is important in many ways – from supporting the economy to helping to improve our health.

World-leading climate change legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2009 shows that, when we have the powers, we take a more progressive approach to the protection of the environment. Scotland has had a bigger cumulative fall in emissions (29.6 per cent) than any of the EU-15 since 1990; higher than the average emissions reduction across the EU-27, and the highest of the nations in the UK.

With experience of addressing global concerns like climate change, restoring natural habitats, and managing fragile marine areas, we have an important contribution to make internationally. The current Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that an independent Scotland will deliver on its European and international obligations, while continuing to build on its reputation for positive leadership, for example by supporting inclusion of protection of the environment in the proposed written constitution.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Who will pay for the cost of decommissioning civil nuclear sites in an independent Scotland?

This Government’s policy is that in an independent Scotland the decommissioning costs of Scotland’s three non-operational sites (Dounreay, Hunterston A and Chapelcross) will continue to be met from the public purse. The costs of decommissioning Scotland’s other two operational sites (Hunterston B and Torness) will be met by the private operators of those sites.

Following independence, the precise division of assets and liabilities will be subject to detailed negotiation between the Scottish and Westminster Governments, working together constructively in the best interests of the people of Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom, as set out in the Edinburgh Agreement.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How will an independent Scotland manage its nuclear waste?

An independent Scotland will ensure that the nuclear legacy inherited from the UK is managed safely and effectively. This Scottish Government is committed to achieving that through a robust regulatory regime and effective long-term management of the decommissioning sites.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.