The Scottish Government has been accused of risking North Sea jobs after Humza Yousaf suggested a move away from Scotland being the “oil and gas capital of Europe”.

In his keynote speech at New York climate week, the First Minister said that Scotland “will transition from being the oil and gas capital of Europe to unleashing our renewable potential and becoming the net zero capital of the world”.

Douglas Ross raised concerns about the suggestion at First Minister’s Questions, a day after his party colleague, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, caused widespread alarm by rowing back on key climate pledges Mr Ross accused the SNP of having “turned sour on Scotland’s oil and gas”.

Deputy First Minister Shona Robison, standing in for Humza Yousaf, insisted the Scottish Government was “committed to a just transition for the oil workers in the northeast”.

Read more: Humza Yousaf warns of climate 'catastrophic negligence' amid oil vow

She added that “the unlimited extraction of fossil fuels is not consistent with Scotland's ambitious climate obligations.”

Ms Robison said: “We have to ensure a fair and planned transition that leaves no one behind.”

The Deputy First Minister claimed Mr Ross was “very brave going on this subject today”, accusing Mr Sunak of having “essentially pulled the rug from under the net zero ambition not just of the UK, but potentially damaging the net zero ambitions of Scotland”.

She added: “That doesn't just damage the environment, it damages jobs in the process.

Read more: Revealed: Rishi Sunak's 'false' claim North Sea oil and gas cleaner than imports

“He should be ashamed to stand side by side with Rishi Sunak on that matter.”

In response, Mr Ross said that the Scottish Government “love to talk a good game” on its ambitions, “but keep missing their own climate change targets”.

The Herald: Douglas RossDouglas Ross (Image: PA)

He added: “ What we need is a transition sensibly to create new energy jobs, not by throwing away the current ones.

“It's not a choice between oil or renewables – we need to support both.

“That's why Humza Yousaf’s proposals are so reckless.

Read more: Analysis: What message does Rishi Sunak's watered-down net zero strategy send?

“A recent report from Robert Gordon University warned that the rapid decline in the oil and gas sector will cost tens of thousands of jobs.”

Mr Ross claimed that under the Scottish Government’s strategy, “skilled jobs will be lost for good”.

But Ms Robison accused the Scottish Conservative leader of “following Rishi Sunak over the same cliff edge” as Liz Truss.

Robison insists Scotland's aims are 'world-leading'

She added: “Of course we are committed to a just transition for Scotland's energy sector and of course, we only just missed our target by 1.2%.

“Our targets are world-leading and that's why the First Minister is in New York, for the UN climate change week.

Read more: Sunak warned by advisers off-track net zero aims 'even harder to hit'

“We are world-leading and we have a First Minister whose ambitions are to meet the net zero target, showing leadership unlike the Prime Minister, who is ditching net zero targets.”

But Mr Ross stressed that the Scottish Government have a track record of failure on meeting climate aims, stating that for “eight out of the last 12 years”, ministers “failed to meet their own world-leading targets”.

The Tory leader said that the SNP has changed its tune from a party supporting oil to halting investment in fossil fuels.

He said: “The SNP’s slogan used to be ‘its Scotland oil’. Now, it's just stop oil.

“Humza Yousaf flew to New York, to the finance capital of the world, to tell people don't invest in our oil and gas sector.

“The First Minister of Scotland is talking Scotland down. It's a slap in the face to northeast workers. It's naive because we still rely on oil and gas and it would be a hammer blow to Scotland's economy.

“So why is the SNP giving up on Scotland's crucial oil and gas sector?”

Ms Robison rejected the claims and suggested that Scotland’s oil has been “squandered by successive UK governments.”