The Scottish Government has formally ditched a key climate change target, with Net Zero Secretary Mairi McAllan accepting the goal of reducing emissions by 75% by 2030 is now “out of reach”.

She confirmed the target, which  was included in legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2019, was being abandoned.

Ministers will bring forward legislation to ensure the climate change target “better reflects the reality of long-term climate policymaking”, Ms McAllan told MSPs.

This will also see the Scottish Government move away from legally binding annual targets – which it has missed for eight out of 12 years.

While progress in reducing emissions will continue to be reported annually, the Net Zero Secretary said that Scotland would move to a “target approach based on five yearly carbon budgets” – saying by making this change the country would be adopting the same approach as the UK and Welsh Governments.

Scotland’s target to reach net-zero emissions by 2045 – five years earlier than the UK – will remain, Ms McAllan stressed.

First Minister Humza Yousaf had earlier told the Scottish Parliament that his Government would “not move back by a single month, a week or even a day from that 2045 target for achieving net zero”.

But the ditching of the interim 2030 target comes just a month after independent experts at the Climate Change Committee (CCC) said that this goal was now “beyond credible”.

Ms McAllan said that amid a “challenging context of cuts and UK backtracking” on environmental action, the Scottish Government accepted that the “interim 2030 target is out of reach”.

She added: “We must now act to chart a course to 2045 at a pace and scale which is feasible, fair and just.”

As part of that, she announced a “new package of climate action measures”, pledging the Scottish Government would work to treble the number of charging points available for electric vehicles, in a bid to encourage more people to switch away from petrol and diesel.

This could lead to approximately 24,000 additional charge points being installed across the country by 2030, the Net Zero Secretary added.

And to encourage more people to ditch cars, she added the Government would “explore a new national integrated ticketing system for public transport in Scotland”.

Promising pilot projects to reduce emissions from agriculture and accelerate peatland restoration, Ms McAllan insisted there was “no doubt about the seriousness with which this Government treats the climate and nature crisis”.

However, she said the “severe budgetary restrictions imposed by the UK Government” and the “continuing constraints of devolution”, meant the Scottish Government was trying to “deliver societal and economic transformation  with one hand tied behind our back”.

And she warned “full delivery” of the Scottish Government’s plans would depend on Westminster “reversing the 9% cut to our capital budget”.

Ms McAllan insisted: “This Government and Parliament rightly has high ambitions, and it is beyond doubt that investing now in net zero is the right thing for our environment, our society and our economy.

“But we are being held back.

“So I am asking MSPs across this chamber to work with us to call on the UK Government to reverse Scotland’s capital cut.”