ANAS Sarwar has condemned the SNP and Tories for being “all talk but not substance” on climate change as he set out plans for a green recovery from Covid.

Against the background of world leaders meeting online for the global climate action summit, the Scottish Labour leader said Scotland was failing to set a proper lead before COP26.

World leaders are supposed to converge on Glasgow in November for the COP26 summit in the hope of agreeing steps to cut carbon emissions and avert runaway climate change.

Mr Sarwar said that prior to the pandemic, the Committee on Climate Change warned the SNP Government is was not doing enough to hit its own carbon emission reduction targets.

He also highlighted the SNP’s 2016 promised to have the country’s first low emission zone for road traffic in place by 2018, but that has now been delayed to 2022 at the earliest.

Nicola Sturgeon’s 2017 SNP conference promise of a nationalised energy company cutting household bills with a greater focus on renewables has also stalled.

Mr Sarwar, who published his Holyrood election manifesto yesterday as a National Recovery Plan, said the UK Conservative Government had failed to tackle emissions.

Boris Johnson’s flagship £1.5bn Green Homes Grant scheme, the centrepiece of his plan to ‘build back greener’, was also abandoned after barely six months.

The Scottish Labour manifesto said Scotland should stick to the current target of net zero emissions by 2045, with new programmes for more energy efficient homes, with 80,000 premises renovated a year, and 15,000 hectares of trees planted each year.

Public procurement would shift to local suppliers, a just transition commission would help find jobs for people in declining oil and gas-based ones, plus investment in renewables. 

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Mr Sarwar, said: “I want Glasgow to be synonymous with world-leading action on climate change, but with the Tories in charge in Westminster and the SNP in Holyrood, all we get is talk but no substance.

“We need to urgently close the gap between promises and delivery.

“Scottish Labour has proposed a bold climate recovery plan, that will make our homes warmer, transport cheaper and our children’s air cleaner.

“Only Scottish Labour will focus on Scotland’s recovery, and deliver on climate policies rather than being distracted by the old arguments.”

Mr Sarwar was today campaigning in Edinburgh Southern, one of just three seats held by his party at Holyrood, alongside the area’s MSP Daniel Johnson.

Mr Sarwar said: “So if you want action on our climate - and not return to the old arguments then you need to vote for it on May 6. To get a parliament focused on recovery - for you, your family and our planet - vote Scottish Labour.

"To guarantee a fairer and stronger Scotland, make sure you use your second vote - on the peach ballot paper - to back our national recovery."

Meanwhile the Scottish Greens highlighted a week-long climate strike by teenager Dylan Hamilton outside Edinburgh City Chambers.

Co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “What the climate strikers do to raise the threats we all face is humbling, because their generation has been failed by the lack of action from governments.

“But while they have a right to be angry, they are also determined, because they know that that it isn’t too late to make a difference if we act now.

“Teenagers like Dylan are demanding that we face up to the science that tells us we have less than ten years to turn this around. 

“That’s why it is alarming that all other parties at this election back major road expansions and fail to commit to stopping new oil and gas exploration. 

“It's time for a green recovery to secure our future. The Scottish Greens have the solutions to the climate emergency, which is why it is time to vote like our future depends on it.”

After Scottish Labour published its manifesto, it was mauled by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), which said it gave "no sense" of how much all the spending plans would cost or how thhey would be paid for.

READ MORE: Scottish Labour manifesto trashed by top economic thinktank

SNP Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said: "This scathing analysis of Labour’s manifesto shows that the Labour Party are all spin and no substance when it comes to delivering for the people of Scotland.

“Anas Sarwar has already admitted Labour can't win this election - and now it seems they’ve completely given up by publishing a manifesto with half-baked ideas that fail to fund the NHS into the future, and spend money that doesn’t exist.  

“Scottish Labour should start being honest with voters - a vote for them would allow Boris Johnson and the Tories to tighten their control over Scotland."