PATRICK Harvie has accused Holyrood bosses of “double standards” after a body representing the “fossil fuel industry” was allowed into Parliament, while environmental campaigners rallied outside.

The Green party’s co-convenor made the complaint to presiding officer Ken Macintosh ahead of yesterday’s Stage One debate on the Scottish Government’s Climate Change bill.

Earlier in the day protestors from Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) held a demonstration outside the parliament’s front door, demanding ministers go further.

However, this week, Oil and Gas UK, the trade association for the offshore industry, have an information stall with leaflets, and posters in the exhibition space MSPs pass to get into the chamber.

It’s understood that use of the exhibition space, organised for the body by Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald, was arranged a year ago.

Harvie told Macintosh that SCCS “knew that they had to organise a rally outside parliament because the rules on events inside parliament state that events and exhibitions must respect the wide range of existing channels for influencing parliamentary business, by not lobbying on parliamentary business under current consideration”.

He added: “I was surprised therefore that members are walking up towards the chamber towards a large corporate exhibition for the fossil fuel industry, an industry whose very existence is directly relevant to the climate crisis to which the bill exists to address”.

Harvie asked Macintosh “why the apparent double standards exist that mean pro-climate action campaigners need to organise events outside parliament, but the fossil fuel industry which is implicated in causing this crisis is lobbying inside parliament on a day we’re debating the bill”.

The Presiding Officer said it was “open to any member in the chamber to organise an event or exhibition”.

He added: “They’re planned well in advance. They’re covered by the events and exhibition rules not by the lobbying rules, which is a different matter altogether.”

Oil & Gas UK upstream policy director Mike Tholen said: “As our recent Business Outlook report showed, UK oil and gas production provides nearly 60% of the UK’s oil and gas demand and remains critical for the UK’s security of energy supply. We are proud to champion an industry which continues to support hundreds of thousands of jobs, contributes billions to the economy, and has the skills and capabilities to drive low carbon technology such as CCUS and hydrogen.”

Yesterday evening MSPs backed the principles of the government’s climate change bill.

If passed it will change the greenhouse gas reduction target from the current 80% to 90% by 2050, and introduce an interim target of 56% for 2020 – up from the current 42% – and 66% for 2030.

Campaigners say those targets are not enough.

SCCS chairman Tom Ballantine said the government were “failing to tackle climate change with the necessary urgency”.