NICOLA Sturgeon has said that Rishi Sunak is “deeply unserious” about tackling climate change after the PM announced he would grant 100 new North Sea oil and gas licences.

Sunak pledged to “max out” the UK’s oil and gas reserves – a move which was met with dismay from climate campaigners.

On Tuesday, climate activists from This is Rigged sprayed the Scottish Parliament building with red paint in protest at the decision and at the Scottish Government’s “deafening silence”.

In her latest column for the Glasgow Times, former first minister Sturgeon (below) said there needs to be “a strong political consensus” around climate change.

The National: Nicola Sturgeon has announced her intention to resign as First Minister of Scotland (Jane Barlow/PA)

Sturgeon said: “Pushback against measures like the Low Emission Zones in Glasgow and London and the Deposit Return Scheme – initiatives already operating successfully in many other countries – is bad enough.

“But Rishi Sunak posing in Margaret Thatcher’s old Rover promising to scrap measures designed to encourage people into lower emission cars and greener forms of travel shows him to be deeply unserious.

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“And the Tory promise to ‘max out’ North Sea oil and gas is the most lamentable leadership failure of all.

“It undermines efforts to tackle climate change. And it is also a dereliction of our duty towards the north east and those who work in the sector and its supply chain.”

Sturgeon said that although she was not arguing for North Sea oil and gas “taps” to be switched off, she did not believe more should be turned on.

She said that “new exploration risks slowing down a just transition to renewables”.

We previously told how the Tories have been branded the “political wing of the fossil fuel industry” as figures showed that ministers met with energy firms 53 times in three months.

The National also revealed how the Conservatives have received millions of pounds in donations from climate deniers and those with interests in the fossil fuel industry.