Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian and a member of Holyrood's economy and energy committee, is expressing disappointment after outgoing First Minister Alex Salmond spoke of the "potential" for unconventional gas drilling.

At Mr Salmond's final First Minister's Question time today Ms Johnstone highlighted proposals for underground coal gasification, urging him to back jobs in renewables rather than fossil fuel extraction.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

"In the week that communities living around the Firth of Forth learn of plans to drill into coal seams and set them alight, the outgoing First Minister had an ideal opportunity to get his government off the fence on unconventional gas extraction. Instead he maintained the outdated idea that this industry has potential when the scientific consensus is that we simply cannot afford to burn the fossil fuels we already have.

"While his government has wisely supported the development of renewables it has also encouraged other damaging sources of energy we need to phase out. Communities are rightly concerned and I hope they pile pressure on the new first minister to change tack."