THE Scottish Greens have ruled out an electoral pact with the SNP over climate concerns, despite their common goal of independence

On the closing day of the Green conference in Inverness, delegates overwhelmingly voted to stand alone at the 2021 Holyrood election.

The rejection came despite former co-convener Maggie Chapman, the party’s leading list candidate in the north east, saying a pact with the SNP was “certainly possible”.

She told The Herald “It is not something I would ever want us to rule out.”

However Ariane Burgess, the leading Green candidate for the Highlands and Islands, criticised this weekend’s SNP conference in Aberdeen having events sponsored by BP and Heathrow airport, and accused the other party of "selling out" to oil companies.

Former SNP minister Stewart Stevenson also told a fringe event in Aberdeen that there would be “decades of further oil extraction” from the North Sea, albeit winding down.

Ms Burgess said: “Only the Greens have what it takes to deliver the transformative change that is needed in the face of the climate emergency.

"And if you want any proof, just look at SNP conference that is opening today. Brought to you by Heathrow Airport and BP, one of the biggest polluters in the world ever.

"Yet more proof that the SNP's rhetoric and eye-catching but distant targets are window-dressing, serving only to stave off criticism.

"For all their talk of change, they are the party of the status quo."

Earlier, Green delegates voted to put climate issues at the heart of any negotiations over the Scottish Government Budget, with a motion calling for turning the "rhetoric of a 'climate emergency' into a reality" by moving to a low carbon economy being passed at conference.

Since 2016, the minority SNP administration has relied on support from the Greens to pass its tax and spending plans at Holyrood, with the parking tax among the 2019/20 concessions.

Co-leader Patrick Harvie said the next budget “must recognise the urgency of the climate emergency”.