SNP ministers should abandon plans to commit billions of pounds to road expansion if they are serious about tackling climate change, the Scottish Greens have said.

Green MSP Alison Johnstone hit out at the Scottish Government after Holyrood voted through proposals to slash greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2045.

She listed a string of targets the SNP has set and then missed, including over school class sizes and NHS treatment times.

She added: “We have every confidence in the SNP Government’s world-leading ability to set targets, but when it comes to meeting them – well, that’s another matter.”

However, Nicola Sturgeon insisted Scotland now has “the strongest, most ambitious, most stringent climate change targets of any country in the world”.

Speaking during First Minister’s Questions, she said: “Of course it will be challenging to meet these targets.

“It will require action not just from this government, but from businesses, organisations, individuals the length and breadth of the country.

“But we know that Scotland is already ahead of most of the rest of the world in reducing emissions.

“We’ve already almost halved our emissions, and that should give all of us confidence that we can meet these targets, and we can not only do the right thing here in Scotland but continue to lead the world and lead by example.

“And I for one am proud that this country and this government is doing exactly that.”

MSPs voted through legislation to cut emissions on Wednesday, with only the Greens abstaining amid claims it did not go far enough.

During FMQs, Ms Johnstone said an interim target to slash emissions by 75 per cent by 2030 lacked ambition.

She said Scotland missed its latest greenhouse gas target, while transport emissions had risen.

She added: “This Government continues to commit billions to major road expansion, such as duelling the A96.

“Will the First Minister take inspiration from the Welsh Government, which cancelled plans for a new motorway after declaring a climate emergency, and will she invest these funds into public transport instead?”

Ms Sturgeon stressed Scotland is a world-leader, adding:  “I genuinely struggle to understand how a Green party in a Parliament that is taking world-leading action can decide to sit on their hands.

“I think people across the country will be utterly perplexed at that."