CLIMATE campaigners are urging MSPs to commit to a transition away from the oil and gas sector ahead of today's Holyrood debate.

The SNP's Net Zero, Energy and Transport Secretary, Michael Matheson, will today set out that the climate crisis is a "critical priority" for the Scottish Government.

The Government has committed to Scotland becoming a net zero country by 2045 while 1990 levels of carbon emissions need to be cut by 75% by 2030.

But environmental activists want a pledge to wind down oil and gas production as part of the strategy.

A poll released this week found there is widespread support across Scotland for a commitment to slow oil and gas production and redirect support to renewable energy industries.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s climate and energy campaigner, Caroline Rance, said: “The climate emergency must be at the forefront of the new parliament's focus, however silence on the future of fossil fuels is a glaring omission.

READ MORE: Majority think North Sea oil and gas production should be halted

“The Scottish Government continues to support the extraction of every last drop of oil and gas possible from the North Sea. This is simply incompatible with the climate crisis and the Scottish Government must prioritise workers and climate over oil company profits."

She added: “A rapid and fair transition away from fossil fuels can create new jobs for people who work in the sector to transfer their skills and experience. A clear timescale for winding down production is essential to ensure this process is managed properly for the climate, workers and communities affected by this transition.

“The Scottish Government's current climate plans rely heavily on industry greenwashing technologies like carbon capture, fossil hydrogen and hare-brained schemes to burn massive numbers of trees for energy.

"These illusory projects risk distracting the Government from the hard work of developing the concrete projects that we know will cut emissions in the here and now, such as boosting home energy efficiency and public transport .”