Scottish Government plans to scrap a flagship climate target have been branded “the worst environmental decision in the history of the Scottish Parliament.”

The SNP-Green administration has also been accused of hypocrisy, with the climbdown coming just months after they slated Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer for similar u-turns.

READ MORE: Transition to net zero at 'critical stage' in Scotland

Màiri McAllan, the Cabinet Secretary whose brief includes net zero is due to update MSPs later today on the government’s response to a daming report which warned key climate pledges were “no longer credible.”

The minister is widely expected to announce that the bid to reduce carbon emissions by 75%by 2030 is now unachievable.

It is also expected that Ms McAllan will scrap the yearly targets.

However, the commitment to be fully net zero by 2045 will remain.

Speaking ahead of today’s statement, Ms McAllan claimed Scotland was “halfway to net zero.”

She also said Scottish ministers were trying to deliver on climate change with “one hand tied behind our back” because of UK government financial mismanagement and the “continuing constraints of devolution.”

“This government is absolutely committed to tackling the climate crisis with the urgency and pace which is required.

"However, to do so we need collective will and a common sense of priority. I call on all parties in the Scottish parliament to put politics aside, to reject culture wars, and to back our efforts.

"This is our collective mission in which we cannot fail.”

Taking to X, Friends of the Earth said: “The @scotgov choosing to scrap its 2030 climate targets would be the worst environmental decision in the history of the Scottish Parliament.

“The climate crisis demands urgent action now - not broken promises. Over a decade has been wasted when Ministers could have been delivering warm homes, reliable public transport and clear pathways to green jobs.

“Instead the @scotgov have kept millions of people trapped in a broken status quo.”

Jamie Livingstone, Head of Oxfam Scotland, said the decision was “an acute global embarrassment.”

“It would also be the direct and damaging consequence of the Scottish Government’s own dilly dallying on climate action.

“Ministers and MSPs from every party in the Scottish Parliament should instead be focused on securing the significant funds required to invest right now in faster climate action through fair tax reforms which protect the worst off and incentivise polluters to clean up their acts.

“Anything less and Scotland will deliver yet another body blow to climate-hit communities while risking a dangerous race to the bottom on global climate ambition.”

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The interim targets are part of the Climate Change Act and so changing them requires an affirmative resolution in Holyrood.

That should mean the amendment will likely go to the Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee committee first, who can take evidence and call ministers to answer questions.

It will then be voted on by the committee before going to the chamber where all MSPs will get a vote.

That raises the prospect of Scottish Greens MSPs being forced to back legislation weakening a key climate target.

On Tuesday, the First Minster’s official spokesman made clear that Humza Yousaf would expect all of his ministers to support government business.

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 Transition to net zero at 'critical stage' in Scotlandin Scotland fall far short of what is needed to achieve the legal targets under the Scottish Climate Change Act”.

READ MORE: Greens urged to use influence on SNP to stop eco targets being ditched

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.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Net Zero and Energy Màiri McAllan will make a statement to the Scottish Parliament on the Climate Change Committee Scotland Report: Next Steps on Thursday 18 April.”