A £175bn green overhaul of the economy is needed in a post-coronavirus Scotland which will generate 100,000 new jobs and pay for itself, according to a major report from a influential think tank.

The call is made in the a major new analysis by the Common Weal, setting out a vision of an alternative economic recovery strategy for the country in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

It says the 25-year costed plan will take place only once and will then serve "many generations".

Spreading the cost over 50 years would cost approximately £5 billion a year, it says.

But apart from its "conservative" estimate on jobs, it will also create £4 billion of additional tax revenue each year and an additional £2.5 billion of additional direct income annually.

"This means that the investment not only pays for itself but generates a very substantial annual surplus," it said.

It comes after the Herald revealed that some of Scotland’s rural and most affluent areas are being badly hit by the coronavirus economic crisis, with unemployment nearly trebling in parts during lockdown as concerns grow about the future financial shock from Covid-19.

Data from the end of June shows nearly one in three Scots able to work were unemployed or on furlough.

Scotland’s more affluent areas with historically lower levels of deprivation have seen the biggest rise in the numbers claiming either Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Universal Credit (UC) – being hit up to five times harder than those areas that are less well off.

At least 843,240 Scots were either claiming unemployment benefits or have been furloughed under the UK Government’s job retention scheme, which is nearly one-third of the population who are available for work.

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And the Scottish Government has been urged to use additional funding from the Treasury to invest in creating jobs after Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out a plan to underpin employment as Britain emerges from the devastation caused by the coronavirus.

A temporary cut in VAT from 20% to 5%, and a scheme offering discounted meals at restaurants, is aimed at supporting the hard-hit hospitality industry.

There are also new subsidies to ensure young furloughed workers are retained by companies, and cuts to the cost of buying a home in England and Northern Ireland.

The costed  £175bn green revolution for Scotland that creates 100,000 jobs and pays for itself

The Chancellor said Scotland would now receive a total of £4.6bn in additional Barnett funding from the UK government.

Dr Craig Dalzell, Common Weal head of policy said: “That we are still in the midst of this current crisis cannot distract us from the fact that we have only ten years left to make serious changes to our economy to avert the worst impacts of the climate emergency.

“We do not have time to spend a "lost decade" rebuilding back to pre-crisis "normal" and then trying to change everything again. We certainly cannot rebuild in a way that leaves us vulnerable to the next pandemic or other crisis that will inevitably come.

“The solutions to the Covid crisis must be the same solutions that lead to a zero-carbon economy and create for Scotland an economy that is resilient to the next shock and which works for all of us both now and into the future.”

Common Weal said their Green New Deal plan would reduce Scotland's "negative environmental impact" to zero while creating a "transformed economy."

It would also result in the rapid growith of a wide range of industry sectors in Scotland - particularly the production of wood-based construction materials, a large land management industry, significant increases in food production and processing and the establishment of a lot of light industry.

The costed  £175bn green revolution for Scotland that creates 100,000 jobs and pays for itself

On top of this, it says, there will be a substantial increase in component supply and heavy manufacturing.

"It would end resource waste, regenerate land and soil, enable the re-establishment of wildlife populations and greatly decrease the reliance on biocides," the think tanks said. "This would all have a positive impact on Scotland’s urban and rural landscape, making the nation more beautiful.

It said of its overall plan that it was based on the principle that the causes of the environmental crisis are "structural and collective not individual and personal which means the solutions cannot be individual but must be collective and must change not just the technologies we use but the structural causes of the harm being done".

"This has an immediate consequence – there is zero additional cost to citizens for this entire transformation," it said. "Everyone gets a very substantial upgrade to their house without having to pay anything extra, no-one has to spend their own money to bring about a circular economy, no-one’s electricity bills will rise to pay for decarbonisation. Every single thing that has to be done to make the green transition we need to make is covered in the above costs."

It has already suggested as part of the plan that oil and gas extraction should be phased out and be replaced by a raft of low-carbon initiatives aimed at tackling climate change as part of the transformation.

The costed  £175bn green revolution for Scotland that creates 100,000 jobs and pays for itself

It has also suggested a £50bn scheme to build a low-carbon district heating scheme, connected to every house on the gas grid where technically possible, and power it with large-scale renewable heat generation.

District heating is the supply of heating and hot water to multiple buildings from a centralised generation source, through insulated underground pipes. This system is widely developed in the Nordic countries, but less so in the UK, and reduces the carbon emissions produced in supplying heat to homes.

It has been suggesting taking all energy into public ownership, and moving to the production of hydrogen, seen as a versatile fuel capable of powering everything from household appliances to transport to industrial processes.

Common Weal says hydrogen itself will become a "large industry in Scotland with the potential to leadEurope and become its largest hydrogen exporter".

It also calls for the biggest overhaul of housing since the Second World War, with a plan to have greener homes by installing loft installation, double glazing and renewable technologies - at a cost of £40bn.

That would involve setting up a national housing company and spend £40 billion to make every home in Scotland more thermally efficient, saving 40% off heating bills.

It also foresees a decarbonised transport plan where small vehicles will be predominantly battery-electric powered while larger vehicles will be hydrogen fuel-cell powered.

There will then need to be investment in converting trains, buses and ferries and commissioning new ones.

It suggests there are is unlinkely to be a technical solution for "air transport" some work-arounds are proposed – like offering families which take summer holidays by hydrogen ferry extra days of holiday entitlement to cover the longer journey times.

"There will be a substantial impact on our individual lifestyles," the think tank says. "People will have warmer homes at less cost, gain access to better quality food, be protected from the impacts of pollution, have easier access to a fast and efficient transport system, be able to own land and much more.

The costed  £175bn green revolution for Scotland that creates 100,000 jobs and pays for itself

"The goods that people use will be of a higher quality but will cost them less over all because many more products will be borrowed, rented or leased, they will last much longer and be entirely repairable. Spending will shift from shopping to participation, relaxation and socialising, improving quality of life."

It concluded: "This is a historic moment, a moment when everything has to change. If we have learned anything through the Covid crisis it is that half measures and hoping for the best achieve next to nothing. You do it – or you don’t do it. This Plan is something serious we can do. So will we do it? It’s up to us."