The year 2022 was record-breaking, but it wasn’t a record to celebrate. Europe experienced its hottest year on record, with heatwaves, wildfires and crop failures leaving widespread damage.

And it wasn’t just Europe suffering from the breakdown of our climate. A third of Pakistan was flooded, killing 1800 people, southern Africa was devastated by extreme storms and Florida was battered by Hurricane Ian.

These ‘once in a century’ extreme weather events are becoming the new normal, and climate change is to blame.

What’s most profoundly unfair about this crisis is that the worst effects are being felt by the world’s poorest communities, those who have done nothing to cause the climate emergency.

Despite a disappointing overall outcome, the COP27 climate summit in Egypt did at least result in a new “Loss and Damage” fund, where the rich countries most responsible for emissions will pay compensation to poorer countries already suffering the worst effects.

We need to do more than just pay for the damage being caused though. Economies like ours must stop burning fossil fuels. Leaders at COP27 failed to even agree to a ‘phase out’ of oil and gas, despite all their grand promises.

The UK Government frequently talks a good game on climate, but then doubles down on the most destructive policies. The Tories have just granted a hundred new oil and gas licences and authorised the first new coal mine in 30 years.

In Scotland, where the Greens are in government, we are taking much bolder action despite the huge limitations of the devolution settlement.

Last month, we published plans to more than double our onshore wind capacity and announced groundbreaking changes to planning rules to support new renewable energy developments.

We’re the only government in the UK to deliver free bus travel for everyone under 22, a Green policy which over 10,000 young people in West Dunbartonshire/over 6,200 young people in Argyll and Bute are already benefitting from.

And there’s much more change to come. For example, this summer we will launch the UK’s first bottle deposit return scheme, massively increasing the number of plastic and glass bottles which are recycled.

And in September we will remove peak-time rail fares, giving people more incentive to take the train rather than drive.

We’re taking these steps despite the Westminster Government giving Scotland a totally inadequate budget settlement. It is frustrating to know that we could achieve so much more with the powers of a normal, independent country, but we have a moral obligation to do everything we possible can right now.

We still have time to transform our economy into one which is greener and fairer. Our future, and that of our planet, are far too important for us to do anything less.