NICOLA Sturgeon has appeared to weaken her commitment to join global efforts to phase out oil and gas use after she say Scotland is seeking to become a “friend” of a newly-formed alliance.

The Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance was launched by Denmark and Costa Rica at the COP26 summit on Wednesday to halt new drilling.

France, Greenland, Ireland, Sweden, Wales and the Canadian province of Quebec signed up as founding members.

READ MORE: COP26: Sturgeon confirms Scotland 'considering joining' alliance to end oil and gas use

Portugal, California and New Zealand are associate members, while Italy is supporting it as a “friend”.

Scotland is yet to sign up, though the First Minister has said her government is likely to join.

She has now given further details on the level of membership she would like Scotland to participate at.

Speaking to journalists at the COP26 summit, the First Minister said: “So we would, I think become a ‘friend of’ in the first instance, and then probably move potentially into different categories of membership.

“I wrote to the Beyond Oil and Gas organisation yesterday, indicating we were making that assessment.”

She added: “I don’t have any doubt in my mind that we’ve got a big job of work to do to get away from oil and gas as quickly as possible.

“But we have to do that in a way that doesn’t make us more dependent on importing oil and gas, that would be nonsensical.

“And crucially, that doesn’t leave the 100,000 people working in that sector on the scrap heap.”

Emissions from the North Sea oil and gas industry did not count towards Scotland’s targets as the responsibility is reserved, she said.

She said there was a “moral reason” to be part of the global reduction in emissions.

The First Minister also said communities in Scotland were still dealing with the “scars” of deindustrialisation from coal mines closing.

She said: “If we get this wrong, that’s what could happen with oil and gas.

“I am absolutely determined it will not.”