The Scottish Conservatives say voting for the Greens in the Holyrood election would risk a “devastating blow” to the north-east economy.
The Scottish Green party has promised a “just transition” from fossil fuel reliance to “cleaner” energy.
This includes stopping public investment in carbon capture and storage, an end to new licenses for oil exploration and an end to subsidies for North Sea oil and gas companies.
Tory leader Douglas Ross, however, has accused the party of threatening to “risk the taps being turned off” on gas and oil, which would pose a threat to the north-east’s economy.
According to a poll conducted for the Sunday Post, fewer than a quarter of Scots want support for North Sea extraction scrapped.
The survey found 54% of those asked believe ministers should continue to back the practice, while just 22% said it should not be supported and 24% said they don’t know.
‘Risk turning taps off’
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “The Scottish Greens have asked Scots to vote like their future depends on it – and for many oil and gas workers that may very well be true.
“The truth is that a vote for the Greens risks the taps being turned off in the North Sea far too early.
“That would be a devastating blow to the north-east economy.
“We know that tens of thousands of jobs in the region are directly dependent on the offshore sector, but the knock-on impact affects many more.
“The UK Government has set out its commitment through the North Sea Transition Deal, which will be vital to protect jobs as we switch from oil and gas into cleaner energy production.
“I have also set out plans to ensure the north-east gets its fair share, with a new deal on council funding, £1 billion towards a new enterprise agency and investment in local infrastructure.
“But we cannot expect our economy to recover from Covid if we listen to the Greens and start shutting down oil and gas immediately.
“That would put jobs at risk in the north-east at the worst possible time. The safest thing for voters in this area to do is to back the Scottish Conservatives on the peach party list ballot paper.”
Time right for ‘Green industrial revolution’
The Scottish Green manifesto also promises £7.5 billion in investment to reduce climate emissions and create 100,000 jobs in its green industrial strategy.
Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater said: “With less than a decade to cut climate emissions, Scotland needs to act now, but we need to seize this opportunity to usher in a new green industrial age.
“I’m optimistic about the future of Scotland, but there is no time to lose. This election will be the last where we can still make a significant policy shift to a green economy.
“The decisions we make now will reshape our common future, but only if we commit public investment to renewable energy and build things to last.
“This is the time to take matters into our own hands, to build a Scotland that can lead Europe in tackling the climate emergency. But that can only happen if you vote like our future depends on it on Thursday.”