SOME SNP MSPs are “active climate deniers” and a shift rightwards from the party will present  the Greens with an electoral opportunity, Lorna Slater has said.

Speaking to The National in a wide-ranging interview which will be published more fully on Sunday, the Green co-leader spoke about the future of her party and Scottish politics in general after the end of the Bute House Agreement.

The deal between the SNP and Greens cemented a majority in the Holyrood Parliament for the Scottish Government, but was abruptly ended by Humza Yousaf in late April, a decision which precipitated his own downfall.

Slater and her Green co-leader Patrick Harvie were both removed from Government, and their concern is that climate policies could be first on the chopping block for a new SNP minority government looking to make savings.

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“We're out," Slater said. “So we're all waiting to see what this new government is going to prioritise”.

“Of course, as Scottish Greens, we're really worried that it means a climate climbdown, a roll back on everything from heat and buildings, reducing the emissions from Scotland's homes by making them warmer and better insulated, all the way to things like the Nature Restoration Fund and the new National Park.

“How much is going to get delayed, underfunded, under-resourced, watered down? That's really worrying.”

Slater, who was a project lead for the renewable energy firm Orbital before her election to parliament, said that investment in green policies was also investment in the economy.

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She warned: “Countries who delay their transition, countries who slow down, will find themselves behind.

“The investment in things like electric vehicles and manufacturing, infrastructure, wind turbines, the infrastructure that goes with that, the supply chains, green hydrogen, will go to those countries who move first.

“The slow will lose out and find themselves buying equipment from those countries who moved fastest.

“That's the risk of watering this stuff down. This has long-term implications for our economy as well.”

The National:

Slater (above) said that there had been a “consensus” in the Scottish Parliament when climate change targets had been brought in, but that had “fractured” in more recent years.

“Although the Bute House Agreement gave us a pro-independence majority government, it's clear that it didn't actually have a pro-climate-action majority,” she said.

“There are enough SNP backbenchers who aren't interested in climate action, who are in some cases active climate deniers, that simply the maths didn't work out."

Though Slater did not name names, the Greens have openly clashed with SNP rebel Fergus Ewing in the past.

Ewing has suggested the party are "wine-bar revolutionaries", a phrase lifted from the Scottish Daily Mail, while the Greens have said the former SNP minister's "brand of conservative politics make him indistinguishable from the Tories on most issues".

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Slater said there could be an opportunity for more Green politicians to be elected if the SNP shift right under new first minister John Swinney.

“People who were with the SNP when they were led by a Cabinet and a first minister who were clearly progressive, maybe feel betrayed, maybe feel this isn't the party for them anymore,” she said.

“If the SNP are going to move to the right and bill themselves as a more centrist party, then that leaves room open in the independence movement for the more radical left, which has always been us.”

The Scottish Government has been approached for comment.