Climate campaigners have urged the Scottish Government to “bite the bullet” and commit to a clean power system amid fears a new energy strategy contains conflicting visions and relies too heavily on untested technology.

The Scottish Government’s draft energy strategy includes key targets for moving to a cleaner energy system and also proposes an “acceleration” of a move away from the declining North Sea oil and gas sector.

A consultation on the draft vision closes tomorrow.

But Friends of the Earth Scotland is calling on SNP ministers to commit to establishing a fully renewable energy system by 2030.

Under a legal obligation, the Scottish Government must cut 1990 levels of pollution by 75 per cent by 2030.

Read more: SNP to consider speeding up decline of North Sea oil and gas sector

Levels of carbon have reduced by more than 50% by 1990, but the same level of progress is required in less than a decade to reach the aim, described by statutory advisers, the Climate Change Committee, of “moving out of view”.

The Scottish Government has failed to achieve seven of its 11 legal annual climate targets.

Campaigners have stressed that with that critical 2030 climate target looming, it is essential that the final version of the Scottish Government’s energy plan sets out a comprehensive strategy for a managed and just phase-out of oil and gas and moving to a fully renewable energy system.

Friends of the Earth Scotland has pointed to two conflicting targets in the strategy, for “at least the equivalent of 50% of energy use to come from renewables by 2030” as well as “energy use to be 'largely decarbonised' by 2030”.

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The Scottish Government said one relates to energy that comes from renewable sources while the other relates to energy that is decarbonised.

It is thought the latter could involve renewable energy, but could also involve low-carbon energy being used to decarbonise certain sectors such as low-carbon fuel used in agriculture.

Whilst campaigning to be First Minister, Humza Yousaf pledged to take a 10% equity share in future offshore wind leasing round and set up a publicly owned energy generation company.

But Friends of the Earth Scotland has claimed that neither of these options to create an energy system that delivers greater benefits to the public are considered in his Government’s draft energy document.

The organisation has criticised the failure of “profit-driven energy bosses” to respond to the climate crisis, calling for public ownership to play a key role in transforming the energy system.

Campaigners want a clear date and plan to end oil and gas use within this decade and a rejection of new fossil infrastructure and over-reliance on carbon capture.

The Herald: The North Sea oil and gas sectorThe North Sea oil and gas sector (Image: PA)

Oil and gas licensing is reserved to the UK Government, but the Scottish Government will bring forward its position on whether the winding down of the depleted North Sea basin should be accelerated as part of efforts to combat the climate emergency.

Carbon capture and storage plays a key role in the Scottish Government’s net zero strategy and hitting the ambitious 2030 target, despite the Scottish cluster project yet to receive priority funding from UK ministers.

Concerns have been raised over the technology which has not yet been used at commercial scale, as well as fears over leakage.

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Friends of the Earth Scotland also wants the final version of the energy strategy to clarify that the 2030 decarbonisation target will be met fully through renewables.

The group is also appealing for a detailed green jobs creation plan, a move to public ownership and a commitment to reduce overall energy demand through prioritising home insulation and public transport use.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s head of campaigns, Mary Church, said: “The final destination of this strategy is bold but there is no coherent plan for how we will get there.

“If Scotland is to stop missing climate targets, it needs to get off fossil fuels and deliver the wide-ranging transformation needed in public transport, home insulation and renewable generation that can help slash climate pollution and tackle the cost of living crisis.

“There is no time to lose. The Scottish Government must bite the bullet and set a clear direction of travel and how we are going to get there.

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“As part of that we need a clear end date for oil and gas within this decade and a detailed plan on how affected workers and communities will be supported through the transition.”

She added: “Ministers must stop clinging to the dangerous illusion that carbon capture can deliver the urgent step change needed in Scotland’s climate efforts, and focus on delivering a fully renewable energy system by 2030.

“Profit-driven energy bosses have long failed to deliver an energy system that works for households or creates enough decent green jobs in Scotland.

“Humza Yousaf must build on his promise to take stakes in future offshore wind projects and make sure that a public energy company is set up swiftly to share the benefits of our energy resources more fairly and drive the just transition."

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A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Scotland has the skills, talent and natural resources with which to become a global renewables powerhouse.

“Our draft energy strategy and just transition plan, published in January, sets out our vision to deliver this: an energy system that delivers affordable, resilient and clean energy supplies.

“We are currently consulting on the draft strategy and plan and continuing to engage on it with a range of stakeholders – including with Friends of the Earth this week – to ensure everyone has an opportunity to help shape our energy transition