THE Scottish Greens have warned the SNP that they will not back the next Scottish budget unless “decisive action” is taken on climate change.

Patrick Harvey, co-leader of the Greens, insisted SNP Finance Secretary Derek Mackay must produce a “climate emergency budget” in the coming weeks.

The support of the Greens has allowed the minority SNP administration to pass its last three budgets.

Mr Harvie highlighted a warning by the Committee for Climate Change in December that Scottish Government action in the next 12 months is “likely to determine the direction of the next 25 years”.

He said: “The Scottish Greens have delivered real change in the budget negotiations in previous years, giving Scotland a fairer income tax system, protecting local services across the country and advancing urgent environmental priorities.

“This next one must go further; it must be a climate emergency budget if it is to win our support.

“The Scottish Government cannot continue to brag about its long-term targets while sitting on its hands when it comes to the transformative action needed to address this crisis.

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“The Climate Committee’s report shows that in the areas that are devolved, there has been precious little progress, with transport emissions actually going up for four years in a row.

“The UK Government is creating a potential crisis by delaying its own budget, and the Scottish Government’s task in responding to that irresponsible behaviour is not easy.

“However, this must not be used as an excuse for a budget which lacks ambition for Scotland.

“Our proposals for the next budget would see transformative investment in tackling fuel poverty, public transport and new green industries that will help tackle the climate crisis and create jobs for communities across Scotland.

“Derek Mackay has the power to tackle the climate emergency, he needs to accept the responsibility.”

In a letter to Mr Mackay, the Greens co-leader warned this budget "must turn the rhetoric of a 'climate emergency' into a reality by increasing investment in the low carbon economy, creating green jobs and beginning the longer-term project of developing and implementing a Scottish Green New Deal to transform our economy".

Mr Harvie said his party is "determined to see a transformative shift in public investment away from trunk road expansion and upgrades, and into public transport and cycling and walking infrastructure".

He added: "This could include an extension of free bus travel to young people in 2020/21.

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"Funding could be freed for such initiatives by re-profiling or cancelling planned expenditure on trunk roads such as the duelling of the A9 and A96 and the proposed £120m Sheriffhall roundabout."

He also floated reductions in the working week to help demonstrate "that the Scottish Government is committed to a fairer economy that is focused on wellbeing rather than unsustainable growth".

Mr Harvie said public sector trials of a reduced working week could form part of the pay settlement for 2020/21.

Scotland’s budget for the upcoming financial year was delayed until after Christmas due to the election.

Mr Mackay had been due to outline his annual spending and taxation plans on December 12.

A new date has yet to be fixed.