Environmental campaigners have warned the Scottish Government against trying to "weasel out” of their 2030 climate change target.

But Màiri McAllan, the Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, looks set to ditch the flagship vow when she addresses MSPs on Thursday afternoon.

According to BBC Scotland, she is set to completely scrap the interim target and could also drop the annual targets.

The move follows a damning report by the Climate Change Committee (CCC), which claimed the 2030 goal was "no longer credible".

The weakening of the pledge, made in 2019, will be humiliating for the Scottish Greens.

READ MORE: Climate change Scotland: plan 'not credible', says report

On Tuesday, Humza Yousaf’s official spokesman told journalists that, in general, the First Minister would expect all of his ministers to back Scottish Government business.

Green MSPs Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater will have to support the scrapping of the crucial climate change target when it comes to a vote in Holyrood or they will have to quit government.

Last month, Mr Harvie hinted that he could back the weakening or scrapping of the commitment, as long as other measures were put in place.

He told Scotland on Sunday that any "change to the framework" would need to come with "an acceleration of action."

He added: “We have had too many politicians patting each other on the back for world-leading targets while at the same time calling for more road building, more aviation growth and cheering to the rafters when new oil and gas exploration gets announced.

“If there needs to be any change in any of the climate framework, it has to come with an accelerated agenda of action on climate.”

In their report, the CCC said that for Scotland to cut harmful emissions by 75% within six years, it would require the rate of emission reduction in most sectors to increase by a factor of nine.

It said: “The acceleration required in emissions reduction to meet the 2030 target is now beyond what is credible.”

The CCC also noted the publication of Scotland’s new draft Climate Change Plan, which was due late in 2023, had been “delayed”.

It said that meant there was “no comprehensive delivery strategy for meeting future emissions targets” and the “current overall policies and plans in Scotland fall far short of what is needed to achieve the legal targets under the Scottish Climate Change Act”.

READ MORE: Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater on climate action for UK Labour

Friends of the Earth Scotland head of campaigns Imogen Dow told The Herald: “Scotland’s climate targets were agreed by all parties and are based on what climate scientists say we must do as part of the global effort to limit climate breakdown.

"The extreme impacts that millions of people are enduring around the world makes it clear that action is needed urgently to cut pollution, not further delays.

“The 2030 target could and should have been met but instead of taking action, ministers just sat on their hands for years.

"Now it seems that instead of doing the work, there is a real fear that they are going to try and change the climate law in order to weasel out of their promises.

“Scrapping or weakening these targets would not only undermine public trust in the Scottish Parliament but it would be a betrayal of the millions of people who are already facing the impacts of climate breakdown, both at home and abroad.

“When these targets were set in 2019, the Greens were correct to demand more urgent action given the UK’s wealth, resources and role as a major historical polluter.

"Greens should now be using their power and influence within Government to drive more action, not as an excuse to go back on their word."

Lib Dem Climate emergency spokesperson Liam McArthur said: "Ever since entering government, the Scottish Greens have traded environmentalism for nationalism. They have repeatedly missed climate targets, cut programmes designed to tackle fuel poverty and slashed a third from the housing budget.

“Last year the SNP and Greens were quick to condemn the UK government for diluting its own ambitions on tackling climate change. It would be hypocritical were this SNP/Green government now to do the same.” 

Scottish Conservative shadow secretary for net zero, energy and transport Douglas Lumsden said: “If this report is correct, it amounts to an abject humiliation for the SNP-Green Government.

“For all the boasting about their supposed environmental credentials, the reality is a succession of missed targets – and being forced to throw in the towel on this flagship pledge represents the biggest failure of the lot.

“This climbdown is not a surprise, given the damning report from the Climate Change Committee, but it is symptomatic of a Nationalist coalition that routinely over-promises and under-delivers.

“Màiri McAllan must be cringing at the thought of delivering this statement after her absurd claim that world leaders were seeking out the Scottish Government for advice on reaching environmental targets.”

Scottish Greens climate spokesperson Mark Ruskell said:“We are absolutely determined to accelerate the urgent and substantial action needed to tackle the climate crisis as laid out by the CCC recently, and fully expect the Scottish Government to respond to that challenge.

“This is a pivotal moment for us to ramp up the kind of meaningful change that will put us on track to achieve net zero by 2045 at the latest, in the face of a complete reversal of climate action from the UK Government.”