THE UK can use its post-Brexit ability to strike global trade deals to help tackle climate change by promoting green technology, the Board of Trade reports today.

The Government advisory body said the country’s “renewed and revitalised status as an independent trading nation” meant it could now “champion the case for free, fair and green trade”.

However the Scottish Greens said the free market’s exploitation of the environment had led to the climate crisis in the first place, and more of the same would be “catastrophic”.

While the SNP said Ms Truss should apologise to firms suffering because of her Government's "extreme Brexit".

The International Trade Secretary Liz Truss will launch the report as she kicks off a two-day visit to Scotland by chairing the Board at the Trades Hall in Glasgow.

She will also host a FinTech (IT-driven financial services) roundtable in Edinburgh, visit the Clydeside Distillery and attend a Scottish export showcase.

In its second report, the Board said green trade could be worth billions to UK exporters and deliver hundreds of thousands jobs.

It argued free markets “are critical to tackling climate change” by driving the global shift to a low-carbon economy, allowing for growth in a diverse range of green technologies and “challenging the narrative that free trade is a threat to the environment”.

It also said free trade can expose so-called “green protectionism”, where environmental goals are used as a cover for protectionist policies.

On some estimates, the UK’s low-carbon economy could grow by 11 per cent per year to 2030 - four times faster than the rest of the economy - delivering £60bn to £170bn of export sales in goods and services by the end of the decade.

Ms Truss said: “The UK is a leader in green exports and this report shows how free trade, free markets and free enterprise can be leveraged to counteract green protectionist policies that hold back the global transition to a low-carbon economy.

“Free enterprise is key to the UK’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, to tackling climate change, and to securing a stronger and freer trading environment that directly supports jobs in regions and nations across the UK.”

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack added: “As we prepare to host COP26 in Glasgow later this year, today’s Green Trade Report sets out how free trade can go hand-in-hand with achieving our net zero ambitions.

“With a growing base of low carbon businesses, and home to almost a third of UK offshore wind jobs, Scotland has a lot to gain from green trade and the high-value jobs and prosperity it will create.”

However Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater said state-led plans were needed for the future.

She said: “Leaving the recovery to the free market, as Liz Truss suggests, would be catastrophic for workers, risking a repeat of Thatcher’s deindustrialisation, which destroyed communities.

“The free market has been squandering precious resources and destroying the planet. It’s time we embraced a different approach as we build a fairer, greener Scotland.”

MP Drew Hendry, the SNP's Shadow International Trade spokesperson, added: "Liz Truss should use this visit to Scotland to apologise to the countless businesses who are paying a heavy price due to her government's extreme Brexit policy.

"Time and time again the interests of Scotland's businesses - including Scottish farmers and crofters under the Australia trade deal - have been completely sidelined by the Tory government.

"It's clear beyond any doubt that Scotland is increasingly vulnerable under Westminster control, and that the only way to keep Scotland safe from the long-term damage of Brexit and Tory trade deals is to become an independent country."