Nicola Sturgeon must match her “rhetoric” with “Government action” if Scotland is to play its part as a world leader in tackling the climate emergency, the First Minister was warned yesterday.

The SNP was also accused of ceding the “moral high ground” through its links to organisations promoting the fossil fuel industry, as climate again took centre stage in the election campaign.

Patrick Harvie, co-leader of the Scottish Greens, hit out after Ms Sturgeon said the Nats would lead the climate charge on Westminster if her party members were to be elected in numbers. 

Ms Sturgeon challenged Westminster to “stop obsessing” about nuclear power and “get its act together” on green energy.

She promised a large team of SNP MPs in the Commons would push the 
UK Government to act on the climate emergency.

Mr Harvie accused the SNP of talking a good game, but said it had to now translate that into action.

He said: “If the First Minister’s world-leading rhetoric was matched by her Government’s actions, Scotland would be well on its way to playing our part in tackling the climate emergency.

“Unfortunately, the SNP, just like Johnson’s Tories, want to extract every last drop of oil from the North Sea.”

He added: “The SNP cannot claim the moral high ground only a month after letting BP and Heathrow Airport sponsor its party conference.”

The SNP was left facing criticisms over those sponsorship deals, which 
also saw a non-electric car given away as a raffle prize.

But launching her strategy, Ms Sturgeon yesterday claimed the Scottish Government is “already a world leader” in tackling the issue as she called on politicians south of the Border to follow in her footsteps.

Campaigning in Edinburgh, she said: “At this election, Scotland can elect a strong team of SNP MPs to demand the radical action needed to tackle the climate emergency and secure the future of our green energy industry.

“Scotland is already a world leader on tackling the climate crisis and delivering green energy. 

“By contrast, Westminster has wasted years obsessing over nuclear power and a complete lack of vision and ambition over the energy technologies of the future.

“Put bluntly, there is no more time to waste – it’s time for Westminster to get its act together.”

The Scottish Government has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2045.

That is five years ahead of the corresponding UK target, but later than many climate activists would like. 

The Scottish Greens are among those who say the target should be net zero by 2040, with substantial progress – 80 per cent – by 2030. 

Nonetheless, the SNP says it now wants to see the next UK Government draw up a wave and tidal energy industrial strategy, with adequate funding for it.

The party is also calling for green energy projects to get long-term support and for the transmission charging regime – which it says discourages investment 
in renewable power projects in Scotland – to be reformed.

With Ms Sturgeon calling for “radical action”, the SNP further supports the introduction of a diesel vehicle scrappage scheme, to encourage people to switch to ultra-low emission cars.

The First Minister said: “Climate change is, without doubt, the single biggest challenge we face. 

“In Scotland, the SNP has declared a climate emergency and introduced the toughest legal targets in the world to ensure net-zero emissions by 2045.

“The next UK Government must stop falling behind and follow Scotland’s lead with radical action to secure our future.”

Others have argued the climate emergency is one of a number of areas Scotland could find itself at odds with the rest of the UK, should it be “pulled out of the EU” by Brexit.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was yesterday on the end of attacks by SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford.

He said it would be “unforgivable” if “dithering” by Mr Corbyn means Scotland is dragged out of the European Union after the country voted in favour of the UK staying in the EU by 62% to 38% .

He claimed Labour’s position on Brexit is as “clear as mud”.

Mr Blackford said: “The SNP are campaigning hard to give voters in Scotland the chance to escape Brexit and take our future into our own hands.

“By contrast, Labour’s flimsy Brexit position is clear as mud, and Jeremy Corbyn is every bit as guilty as Tories of completely ignoring Scotland’s Remain vote over the last few years.

“However Mr Corbyn chooses to dress it up, there is no such thing as a good Brexit for Scotland, or for the UK – it will damage our economy, Scottish jobs and public services such as our NHS.

“Labour have paid a heavy price in Scotland for entering into constitutional alliances with the Tories over the last few years. With the latest polls putting them a distant fourth in Scotland in this election, it’s clear voters do not trust Jeremy Corbyn on Brexit.

“It would be unforgivable if Jeremy Corbyn’s dithering resulted in Scotland being dragged out of the EU against our will.

“So while he is in Scotland he needs to tell voters: will you respect their overwhelming vote to remain in the EU, or will you ignore the people of Scotland and side with Boris Johnson’s Tory party?”

The call by Mr Blackford follows a vow by Mr Corbyn to deliver “massive investment” in Scotland if his party wins the election.