THE Scottish Government’s energy strategy is to be published at least two years late, it has been announced.

The energy strategy and just transition plan was due to be published in spring 2022 but has now been pushed back to next summer.

It is intended to set out how the Scottish Government hopes to create a “net zero energy system that delivers affordable, secure and clean energy” which creates jobs across the country.

The Scottish Government’s announcement came as it published consultation responses to the document, which is an update on plans first released in 2017.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak: Safe drugs consumption space in Glasgow won't work

Former energy secretary Michael Matheson in March last year announced the document would not be published until autumn 2022 and blamed the UK Government for failing to produce its energy security strategy.

The UK plans were published in August 2022.

The National:

No reason for the further delay was given in Energy Minister Gillian Martin’s (above) announcement on Thursday.

A draft version of the plans was published in January. 

Green campaigners have already called on the Scottish Government to pick up the pace on its environmental policies. 

In its response to the consultation on the document earlier this year, think tank Common Weal said: "Now four years since the Scottish Government’s declaration of a 'climate emergency' and with as little as two parliamentary elections away from the absolute deadlines set by the IPCC for Scotland to have made substantial and permanent progress towards climate targets.

"The proposed draft energy strategy from the Scottish Government may therefore represent the last chance to get Scotland on track towards its climate targets.

"It is disappointing therefore that the current draft energy strategy does little to achieve this and is not much more than a collection of previously announced or initiated policies with little in the way of new, more intensive work or, indeed, much sense of strategic development of the policies to understand how the policies interact with each other (e.g. how heat insulation programmes will impact energy demand and thus the need for more energy supply or other infrastructure)."

READ MORE: Oil and gas workers set out demands for just transition plans

The think tank's submission added: "The Scottish Government should begin to take its obligations and responsibilities towards the climate emergency as seriously as the science demands.

"We expect that when the Government comes back with its final energy strategy that it will have performed a complete evaluation of all proposed policies to ensure that the sum total of them actually meets climate objective or, when it is found that they do not, the strategy is revised to include additional strategies to correct that shortfall."

In a statement, Martin said: “Delivering on our climate obligations with an unwavering commitment to a fair and just journey to net zero is an absolute priority for the Scottish Government.

“The consultation confirmed broad support for our vision and highlighted the importance of providing policy certainty to enable investment in skills, infrastructure and technologies.

“We will now publish our energy strategy and just transition plan by next summer, setting out how we intend to create a net zero energy system that delivers affordable, secure and clean energy while benefiting communities across Scotland by providing high-quality jobs and economic opportunities.

“We believe that all future extraction of fossil fuels must be subject to strict climate compatibility and energy security tests.

“Our focus is on meeting our energy security needs, reducing emissions and delivering affordable energy supplies, whilst ensuring a just transition for our oil and gas workforce as North Sea resources decline.”