Could Scotland's natural wealth make an independent Scotland more prosperous?

Many people are unsure about Scotland’s natural wealth and they ask whether it could actually support the economy of an independent Scotland. We say that the question should be more about how Scotland’s natural wealth can help the Scottish economy’s transition towards sustainability? We researched the facts and we found the following:

The Truth

Scotland is one of the world’s most naturally wealthy countries. The value of Scotland’s natural environment to the economy is huge and lays the foundation for Scotland’s continued prosperity as well as a sustainable economy that respects the planet and future generations.

The Facts

  • In 2017 Scotland officially became the Most Beautiful Country in the World according to renowned travel publication Rough Guide, the bible for world travellers.
  • Research by the Office for National Statistics examined the value (known as partial asset value) provided by natural resources, such as wind, Timber water, oil and gas, to Scotland’s economy. It found that the value of Scottish natural capital was estimated to be massive £273 billion. This does not include the value of all of Scotland’s oil. This is just the natural asset component less the costs of production and management etc. 
  • To put the above figure into context with 8.4% of the UK population Scotland’s natural wealth represents 34% of the UK’s as a whole.
  • Also, “Scotland’s habitats are responsible for removing 29% of the UK’s most harmful pollutants.”
  • Scotland produces about double its population share of the UK’s food at roughly 16.1%. This includes 18.3% of total UK cattle and 70% of the UK’s fish landings, of which 60% is then exported.
  • Scotland, with less than 1% of Europe’s population, possesses 25% of Europe’s offshore wind resources, 25% of Europe’s tidal energy resources and 10% of Europe’s wave energy potential.
  • Scotland produces 96% and 63% of the UK’s crude oil and natural gas, respectively.
  • According to new estimates (2019), almost 4 billion barrels of new oil have been found.


As the world moves to a more sustainable economic model, Scotland is again well positioned to benefit and lead the change. Protecting Scotland’s natural assets is key to its future wellbeing and prosperity. 

As one of the world’s most naturally wealthy nations, an independent Scotland has the potential to create sustainable prosperity for its people. Scotland’s natural wealth would be one of the key foundations of Scotland’s future prosperity as an independent nation.