IN this week's Councillor Column, Aileen Morton (Liberal Democrat, Helensburgh Central) explains how we can all play our part in addressing the climate crisis.

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IN just six weeks’ time, the COP26 conference will be held in Glasgow with the aim of addressing climate change.

This is an issue that the United Nations identified last month as “code red for humanity” – with an increasing number of weather events now tied to the global warming that has already taken place as a result of carbon emissions, and the threat of worse to come.

This is such a huge issue that it can sometimes be difficult to get our heads round as to what we should do as individuals, communities and countries.

We’re also very lucky in Scotland that so far our weather has remained fairly temperate, and we haven’t been subjected to the forest fires, hurricanes and “heat domes” that have seen lives lost and communities destroyed elsewhere.

Clearly, the focus needs to be on governments working together which is why COP26 is so important as there should be 196 countries in attendance (whether in person or virtually), aiming to agree urgent steps forward.

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There’s no point in a country like the UK getting its percentage of electricity generated from coal down to just 1.7 per cent if we then import vast numbers of products from somewhere like China where 61 per cent of the electricity generated still comes from coal.

This is a global issue and needs global solutions agreed by all and then delivered locally in each country.

At the same time though, we all need to try and do something to play our part. It can be difficult to work out what, though - very often the focus is on the most obvious/visible changes we can make such as giving up car use or reducing meat consumption.

However, most people can have a substantial impact by just buying less – of everything! Last week was Recycling Week in the UK and if you want to know more then information is available on the WRAP website – – with many local charities, such as the GRAB Trust, Plastic Free Helensburgh and Cardross CAN also working to promote awareness.

However, the mantra is simple: reduce, reuse, recycle in order of the greatest impact. So while recycling absolutely has its part to play, it is far more beneficial not to produce the waste in the first place.

Happiness shouldn’t lie in a shopping basket – whether online or in real life. So whether it’s a bag of salad or a designer handbag, do you really need to buy it?