NICOLA Sturgeon has insisted that ramping up the transition to renewable forms of energy is the answer to the world moving away from relying on Russian oil and gas.

The First Minister reiterated her opposition to the Cambo oil field, which was set to go into production this year but paused after Shell pulled investment, and said the best strategy to end reliance on Russian energy supplies is by transitioning away from fossil fuels.

Sturgeon said that in the short-term, North Sea oil and gas projects may have to ramp up operation to meet global demands, as countries draw up plans to potentially boycott Russian fuels after the invasion of Ukraine.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon says UK policy on Ukrainian refugees is 'unconscionable'

It comes as Nigel Farage sparked fury after calling for a “referendum on Net Zero”. Critics said the plans - to bring coal operations back and start to drill for shale gas in the UK - would only lead to more reliance on Russian fossil fuels.

And, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he will set out a new "energy supply strategy" in the coming days to help address the issue of soaring energy prices during the Ukraine crisis.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s The World at One, the First Minister was asked if in light of the Ukraine crisis, she would drop her “opposition” to more licences being approved for North Sea fossil fuels developments.

She said: “For the UK, the dependency on Russian oil and gas is much, much, much less than it is for Europe and for many other countries.

The National:

The PM met with Canada's PM Justin Trudeau (left) and Dutch PM Mark Rutte (right)

“What I think it means is that we need to, yes, consider short-term actions but actually the real lesson of this in terms of removing dependency on Russian oil and gas is accelerating the green transition.

“So for Scotland, the big imperative for environmental reasons but also I think now for geo-security reasons, is to make sure we are moving to renewable, low-carbon sources of energy even more quickly than we had previously planned.”

Sturgeon added that future projects planned for the North Sea, including Cambo near Shetland, will have no bearing on weaning the world off Russian oil and gas.

The decision to grant a licence for the Cambo plans, put on hold by Siccar Point Energy last year, is reserved to the UK Government – but Sturgeon and statutory advisers, the Climate Change Committee, have called for a planned climate compatibility checkpoint to be extended to projects already in the pipeline such as Cambo.

Sturgeon said: “Even if I was to suddenly change my view on the Cambo oil field, that is not going to change the immediate situation in terms of North Sea oil and gas production.

READ MORE: SNP's short-term focus must be Ukraine, says party Westminster leader Ian Blackford

“My position on the Cambo oil field has not changed. I think it’s really important here that we don’t take ourselves down dead ends in terms of what some of the solutions here are.

“There are real complexities here, really big issues to confront and it will challenge all of us, me included, in terms of some of our fixed positions.

“The biggest lessons here are the ones that we need to learn. Fundamentally, we need to remove our dependency on fossil fuels generally in order to remove our dependency.”

The First Minister was asked if her ambition for Scotland to become net zero by 2045 remains on track.

She said: “Of course it stays.

“We’re talking about population displacement from Ukraine – the biggest that we’ve seen since the Second World War.

The National:

The FM reiterated her commitment to net zero and renewable energies

“But if we go further into the future we will start to see and we are already seeing some of the population displacements being driven by climate breakdown and the catastrophe of climate change.

“It is utterly inane to suggest that one of our responses to the horror and the tragedy of Ukraine is to suddenly pretend that the climate emergency no longer exists and that we don’t have to make that transition to net zero.”

She added that “the flow of important exports from the North Sea in current production of course will be part of that mix” in the short-term as the world grapples with a move away from Russian fuels.

Scottish Greens energy and climate spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “While we are taking action to cut Scotland’s emissions using devolved powers, it is clear Westminster intends to continue with a policy of Maximum Economic Recovery of oil and gas, backed by the same companies who helped Putin expand his influence through fossil fuels.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon thanks Scots as Ukraine fundraiser reaches £10m in under four days

“With a quarter of Europe’s offshore renewable energy potential, Scotland could be leading the energy transition across the continent. With our own seat at the European table, Scotland could be leading efforts to lower emissions and reduce all our reliance on gas, strengthening electricity grids and building new energy markets on a Europe-wide basis.

“That would undermine Putin’s energy power play, tackle the fuel poverty caused by volatile gas prices and, of course, secure a liveable world for future generations.”

It comes as the Prime Minister told a No 10 news conference he would set out an energy supply strategy in the coming days.

He said: “There are going to be impacts but I think it is the right thing to do. It is completely the right thing to do to move away from Russian hydrocarbons but we have to do it step by step.

“We have got to make sure we have substitute supply. One of the things we are looking at is the possibility of using more of our own hydrocarbons.

“That doesn’t mean we are in any way abandoning our commitment to reducing CO2 but we have got to reflect the reality that there is a crunch on at the moment. We need to increase our self-reliance.”