SNP ministers have delayed publishing their promised updated energy strategy until the autumn – partly blaming the hold-up on the UK Government.

The Scottish Government’s Net Zero, Energy and Transport Sectary, Michael Matheson, has confirmed the draft document, the first update of the 2017 strategy, that was promised to be made public in the spring, “will now be published in autumn 2022”.

Mr Matheson said that the UK Government having to hold up its energy security strategy as well as geo-political events have led to the delay.

He said: “We are working to deliver the energy strategy and just transition plan (ESJTP) in the context of a fast-moving energy landscape.

“The revised timeline will allow time for robust evidence and analysis to be produced and take account of ongoing projects, which are progressing at pace in response to the rapidly evolving global energy environment.

“The UK Government is due to produce an energy security strategy, which has been postponed, and we will also need to take this into consideration for Scotland’s energy strategy.”

Mr Matheson added: “Securing a just transition for our energy sector is a non-negotiable aspect of our journey to net zero and the timeline will enable an extensive stakeholder engagement programme, ensuring we create a just transition plan that is truly collaborative in its approach and design.

“The extended timescale will also allow stakeholders more time to engage in the process.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat energy spokesperson Liam McArthur, has warned that the delay “is disappointing and will do nothing to help our chances of tackling the climate emergency”.

He said: “It is all too familiar from SNP-Green ministers who are world leaders in patting themselves on the back, but deniers when it comes to setting out the detail of how to achieve our climate ambitions.

“No wonder Scotland has consistently missed its climate change targets.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats believe that Scotland needs a green industrial revolution to ramp up production of clean energy, insulate every home and ensure that those currently working in the oil and gas industry are supported to transition to new roles.

“From our islands which have a track record of being at the forefront of renewable energy innovation to the decades of offshore experience in the North East and the engineering yards of Fife and Glasgow, this is as close to a win-win opportunity as the Scottish Government are ever going to be offered. These delays do nothing to help achieve those goals."

Scottish Conservative shadow net zero, energy and transport secretary, Liam Kerr, said: “This delay shows the SNP-Green Government were looking for a quick headline when they announced their so-called just transition plan which actually has no plan in it whatsoever.

“We also still have absolutely no detail about where the first £20 million of the just transition fund is going because the coalition itself doesn’t even know.

“This is why I have submitted a written question to ask if the release of this funding will also now be delayed alongside the plan.

“The sector and our local authorities deserve better than being fed false promises by ministers who want to shut down our oil and gas industry.

“If this transition is not done in a fair way, this coalition of chaos will consign thousands of Scottish jobs to the scrap heap.”