The Scottish Greens are on course to hold emergency party talks about pulling out of their governing deal with the SNP.

Grassroots members are furious over the announcement by cabinet secretary for net zero Mairi McAllan that the government is dropping a legal target to reduce carbon emissions by 75% by 2030.

They are also angered by a decision, also revealed on Thursday, that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is to pause the use of puberty blockers to new patients under 18 with gender dysphoria at the Sandyford clinic in Glasgow.

The SNP’s powersharing agreement at Holyrood could be under threat, as the Greens announced they will hold a fresh vote on the future of the deal after the Scottish Government ditched a key climate change target.

The Scottish Green Party said the result of the vote, to be held at a forthcoming extraordinary general meeting (EGM), would be binding on the party.

The date of the meeting will be announced in due course, but Greens also said they have told the SNP about the ballot.

Under the Scottish Greens constitution if 100 or more members demand an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on an issue, the party is obliged to call one. 

Late on Friday evening the Scottish Greens at Holyrood released a statement to say the 100 signature threshold had been reached.

READ MORE: Green members demand talks to end Bute House Agreement

READ MORE: Puberty blockers paused for all new patients in Scotland

The statement said the EGM followed "a request from co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater to the party’s Standing Orders Committee, as well as requests from party members to the Executive Committee."

It added: "The decision to hold a General Meeting was taken to give as many members as possible a chance to have their say on key issues including the Scottish Government’s response to the climate emergency, after a well-attended online meeting yesterday evening was oversubscribed with questions in the allotted time."

Amid calls by members to pull out of the pact with the SNP Ms Slater said the party had "achieved more for people and planet in the past 32 months than other parties have in decades".

The Herald: Mairi McAllanCabinet Secretary for Net Zero Mairi McAllan.

“The intention, as a democratic party, is to give members the opportunity to debate and decide how the party moves forward, how we continue to build on the progress we have made on our manifesto commitments and to deliver our vision of a fairer, greener Scotland," she said.

“We have achieved more for people and planet in the past 32 months than other parties have in decades. Now we want to hear from our members on how they want us to continue this progress. 

“Our party is rich in talent and determined voices including campaigners and activists, councillors and MSPs, which is why the Tories, Labour, big polluters, greedy corporate interests and right-wing media commentators are so determined to try and have us fail.

“They fear the progress we have made on making big polluters pay, on rent protections, free bus travel for young people and record levels of spending on climate and nature, and they hate having a pro-independence majority in government at Holyrood."

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She added: “Not everything in politics is easy, as we have seen over recent years, months and days, but our strength as a green movement is in standing up against those destructive forces who would set fire to everything we have achieved if given half the chance.

“The Scottish Greens are powered by our people, and by shaping the direction we go in our members will provide that springboard needed to make the even bigger breakthroughs for people and for planet that we so badly need.”

The statement said that the dates and time of the meeting will be confirmed in due course. While the EGM will focus on the Scottish Greens, co-operation agreement partners at the SNP have been informed, it added.

The Herald: SNP MSP Fergus EwingSNP MSP Fergus Ewing called earlier this month for his party to pull out of the Bute House Agreement.

Edinburgh city councillor Chas Booth, who wrote to the party executive demanding an EGM on Thursday night, earlier today  he was confident that the 100 member threshold would be reached.

"I am confident that in the coming days there will be a 100 people who have asked for an EGM," he said.

Separately, the Rainbow Greens, the LGBT wing of the party, launched a petition on Thursday seeking an end to the pact over the Sandyford clinic decision. 

It is understood that petition was redrafted on Friday morning to take into account wider concerns over the Scottish Government direction including the dropping of the 2030 climate change target and opposition to the council tax freeze.

Sources in the party said it gathered two thirds of the required signatures within hours after it was published on Friday morning. 

The development comes after calls were made by party members on Thursday night at a meeting with party co-leader Patrick Harvie, and MSPs Ross Greer and Gillian Mackay, to withdraw from the Bute House Agreement.

Party rules mean an EGM cannot take place sooner than 21 days after the meeting is called to allow time for members to draw up the wording of motions and make arrangements to attend suggesting any EGM would take place in early to mid May.

In her statement to Holyrood on Thursday scrapping the 2030 climate target, Ms McAllan set out "new package of climate action measures", including the setting up of a climate assembly, development of a new national integrated ticketing system for public transport and a trebling the number of charging points available for electric vehicles, in a bid to encourage more people to switch away from petrol and diesel.

However, Scottish Green members do not believe they do enough to combat climate change. 

Mr Booth said at the meeting he would be looking for evidence to support the Scottish Greens MSPs argument that the Scottish Government would have fewer measures to support reaching net zero if the party withdrew from the BHA.

"I am looking for evidence that support view and I didn't hear sufficient evidence last night at the members meeting," said Mr Booth.

"And I did not hear sufficient evidence yesterday in the ministerial statement."

He added: "My view is that the Scottish Government is not doing enough in terms of climate action and therefore the Scottish Greens should withdraw from the Bute House Agreement.

"However, if things change sufficiently between now and the EGM and we see genuine action being put forward and the Green MSPs can present evidence for significant changes that being part of the co-operation agreement has achieved in terms of climate action, then perhaps I will change my view."

He continued: "There is very profound frustration and anger where we have got to the point where a government which includes Green ministers is scrapping a climate change target. There is real anger at that. 

"Unless MSPs come forward and show us evidence that we are taking bold action, that the science says is required, I think that that anger will prevail at the meeting and that we will have a vote to withdraw from it."

A second member, who said he had voted for the Bute House Agreement in 2021, and backed it again after Humza Yousaf became SNP leader and First Minister last year, said they now wanted the Greens to pull out of it.

"It's a watershed moment," they said.

"It widely known that the Bute House Agreement was widely supported at the time in the party. But now many people who voted for the Bute House Agreement are changing their minds."

The member added their concerns were not just over the removal of the 2030 climate target but also over the council tax freeze by the Scottish Government.

A third member said: "The anger last night was palpable. I've never seen anything like it before."

The Bute House Agreement was signed between the Greens and the SNP in August 2021 and saw Mr Harvie and Ms Slater become junior government ministers.

In return, the Greens agreed that its MSPs would support the Scottish Government in key votes in Holyrood including the Budget and any motions of no confidence. 

A shared policy platform was published alongside the co-operation pact, and in recognition of policy differences in some areas the document are set out areas where the parties were free to disagree.

These included policies such as whether an independent Scotland should be a member of Nato. The SNP support Nato membership while the Greens do not.

The demands by Green activists for the BHA to end, comes at a time when the deal which saw Green MSPs enter government with the SNP in August 2021, is already under strain.

Mostly, though, the calls to date have come from the SNP side, with a number of high profile members calling for a re-think, including former leadership candidate Kate Forbes and prominent rebel Fergus Ewing – who has pushed for it to be scrapped in its entirety before this year's General Election.

Friends of the Earth Scotland climate campaigner Alex Lee said last night: “Green party members will be amongst the many tens of thousands of people who campaigned long and hard for stretching climate targets in both 2009 and 2019. It is hard to see how they can square that effort with this weakening of urgent action that their MSPs are being asked to back.  

“When these targets were set, the Greens were rightly demanding 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 action beyond the desperately weak package produced this week, not as an excuse to go back on their word.” 

“Radical climate action is at the very core of the Green party’s identity, yet Greens in Government have failed to vociferously oppose new fossil fuel power at Peterhead and are now in danger of voting through a disastrous rollback of climate commitments.” 

Net Zero Secretary Mairi McAllan said: “The ambitious new package of policies announced in Parliament on Thursday is not a standalone list of actions needed to reduce emissions in Scotland. 
“The new measures sit above actions we are already taking forward this year, including a Bill to transform Agricultural Payments, a Bill to tackle Heat in Buildings, which the Climate Change Committee has said could be a model for the rest of the UK, the Circular Economy Bill and Biodiversity strategy. 

"In addition, they will be built upon through a Green Industrial Strategy and our next Climate Change Plan which will include policies up to 2040 and will set our trajectory to net zero by 2045.”