THE UK Government has the opportunity to “step up to the plate” and match the Scottish Government’s Just Transition fund, Rishi Sunak has been told.

SNP MP Alan Brown wrote to the Prime Minister last week calling for the Tories to match the £500 million Scottish Government fund.

The 10-year pledge is part of a bid to ensure that oil and gas workers in the North Sea are not left behind while the sector transitions to renewables.

Brown told Sunak that an independent analysis for the Scottish Government estimated that the number of low-carbon jobs in energy production could increase from 19,000 in 2019 to 77,000 by 2050.

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In his letter, Brown said: “It is imperative we safeguard thousands of jobs in the North East and that these skilled oil and gas workers are supported as we progress towards Net Zero.

“The renewable energy sector would benefit greatly from the skills and experience of these workers, therefore, we must do everything that we can to get them transitioned into this new field and grow it further.

Westminster forever states they wish to work with the devolved administrations. Well now is their chance to step up to the plate and back this Scottish Government scheme.

The National: Brown wrote to the Sunak last week over the fundBrown wrote to the Sunak last week over the fund

“I urge you to match this commitment, protect these vital jobs, invest in Scotland and create a larger future workforce with a sustainable future.”

Speaking to The National, Brown added: "It's time for the Prime Minister to put the Government's money where its mouth is, and finally match the Scottish Government's Just Transition fund.

"Rishi Sunak regularly talks about the exciting future of carbon capture, hydrogen and offshore wind when, in reality: he snubbed the North Eat's CCUS bid; failed to back Aberdeen's hydrogen hub; and forces renewable firms to pay the highest grid charges in Europe.

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"Rather than syphoning off revenues from Scotland's natural resources, the Prime Minister must now back our Just Transition fund which will go a long way to helping hard pressed households across these islands."

Number 10 has been contacted for comment.

We previously told how Scotland is currently leading the way in creating green jobs according to a report which found Scotland had the “strongest regional performance” across the UK.