Speaking at the Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference in Edinburgh, Alex Salmond described what he called a “moral obligation” to lead the way in renewable energy.
“As countries such as Denmark show, there is no contradiction between making use of substantial, in their case, gas, reserves, while leading the transition to a low carbon economy,” he said.
His comments came on the day a climate change expert said additional fossil fuels cannot be exploited while trying to meet ambitious green targets.
The Scottish Government wants to cut emissions by 42 per cent by 2020.
Kevin Anderson, deputy director of the Tyndall Centre on climate change in Manchester, said yesterday: “You cannot reconcile the position of exploiting additional fossil fuels whilst holding to our commitments.”
Mr Salmond later rejected that position, saying that stopping or reducing the production of hydrocarbons would lead to “further dislocation” for the world economy.
“Some low carbon technologies are about hydrocarbon technology: carbon capture, recovery and storage is an example of a hydrocarbon technology which is also a carbon abatement technology,” the First Minister said after his speech at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.
“In fact, some people would argue that if we can get that to work it would have a hugely significant effect.”