RUTH Davidson has been criticised for committing her party to building two new nuclear power stations in Scotland without giving their cost or saying how they would be paid for.

The Scottish Conservative leader included the pledge among a package of environmental measures designed to protect the environment and tackle climate change.

The Global Challenge, Local Leadership policy paper said the Tories were the only pro-nuclear Scottish party and promised to support “new nuclear power plants at Hunterston and Torness”.

The current plants at Hunterston in Ayrshire and Torness in East Lothian, which together generate around a third of Scotland's electricity, are due to close in 2023 and 2030 respectively.

The upfront cost of the new Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset is £18bn, although this is expected to provide electricity for 7 per cent of the UK.

However government subsidies for the energy it produces could cost the same again.

Published to mark Scottish Environment Week, the Tory paper said natural resources could not be used at the current “unsustainable” rate, and more must be done to cut fossil fuel use.

It backed incentives for electric cars, including more charging outlets and free parking; new national parks; more energy efficiency measures; a doubling of new woodland planting; and a new collection system to help the recycle 75 per cent of all waste by 2035.

Ms Davidson said: “We must do more than just repair damage, we must also improve our environment. We believe it is our duty to the next generation to leave Scotland a better place than we found it. Our approach will provide Scots with a greener and more pleasant land.”

An SNP spokesperson: “Considering the eye-watering bills the public face for the Hinkley Point vanity project in England - which could cost the taxpayer as much as £37bn - it's staggering that the Tories want their own white elephants nuclear projects in Scotland without any detail on when, where, how or who will pay.

"The Tories have an appalling record on the environment. If Ruth Davidson wants to be taken seriously, she should call on her Westminster colleagues to fulfil their broken promise on Carbon Capture investment and to reverse their cuts to support for renewable energy."

Green MSP Mark Ruskell MSP said the Tory proposals were cynical "greenwash".

He said: “The frackers’ friends, the Tories, have no environmental credentials.

Actions always speak louder than words, and the actions of their UK Government have set back the creation of jobs in Scotland’s renewables industry. As they flap about, trying to shed their nasty image, people will recognise greenwash when they see it.”

Asked about the costs, a Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “We made clear in our 2016 manifesto that we want to secure the long-term future of nuclear energy in Scotland.

“We want to ensure the development of nuclear energy at Torness and Hunterston continues, and join with others in investigating the most effective way to do this.”