RESERVED powers are being exercised by a UK Government that is “irresponsible and dangerous on climate”, Patrick Harvie has said.

Speaking at the Scottish Greens conference in Edinburgh, the co-leader said the party will “never use the limits of devolution as an excuse not to act”.

But he added: “As a result of the [UK Government’s] anti-climate agenda, we’re seeing green investment put at risk, and we're seeing rising hostility to climate action in UK politics and media.”

It comes as the UK’s independent climate change watchdog said that the level of emissions reductions needed for Scotland to reach its 2030 targets is now “beyond what is credible” to achieve.

The National:

It also noted annual targets for reducing emissions had “repeatedly been missed” and that the publication of Scotland’s new draft Climate Change Plan, which was due late in 2023, had been “delayed”.

Harvie described the report as a “wake-up call” – adding that “it’s clear that we should be decades ahead of where we are now”.

He went on: “Scotland needs a reset on climate policy. We will need to make fundamental changes as a result of this report, not just to stay within the law, but to shift the emphasis from targets to accelerated action.

“Targets do matter – they matter if we use them to focus our minds on action – they must never be treated as substitutes for action.”

Harvie said that urgent work is needed from the Scottish Government.

READ MORE: Rosebank oil field given go-ahead by regulator despite climate concerns

“This is a pivotal moment in our climate journey. It requires a reset of climate policy from the Scottish Government, and with Scottish Greens in the room, we have the chance to shape that.

“Scotland’s climate targets are important – but only an ambitious acceleration of action can make them meaningful. We need acceleration of action which goes beyond what has already been done before.

“We know that if we get this right, we’re not just ensuring our planet is habitable for future generations. We’re giving people here and now warmer homes that are cheaper to heat. We’re creating well-paid, skilled and unionised jobs that will still be here for decades to come. We’re getting commuters out of the traffic jams and on to affordable and reliable public transport.

“We all benefit from climate action. And now is the time to accelerate it.”

The National:

Co-leader Lorna Slater, meanwhile, also hit out at “failures” by UK parties at Westminster to play their part in tackling the global crisis.

The party has repeatedly criticised UK Government plans to restart drilling operations in the North Sea, particularly the Rosebank oil field.

Slater added: “It is only with Scottish Greens in the room and on the ballot paper that the voice of the climate movement will be heard in this crucial election. It is only the Scottish Greens who will be championing an economy that works for people and planet, which puts power in the hands of workers and a fair wage in everyone’s pocket.”

The Scottish Greens confirmed at this weekend’s conference that a record number of party candidates will run at the next General Election.