There are many lessons for Scotland and the UK to learn from the recent tragic events in Ukraine.

From an environmental point of view, the most obvious is that phasing out our use of fossil fuels isn’t just about preventing catastrophic climate change – it’s also a matter of national and European security. Relying on other countries or on unstable globally traded commodities like gas is high-risk.

This is exactly what Green MSPs within the Scottish Government are urgently pursuing. We need to invest heavily in locally generated renewable energy, but also in energy-efficiency measures so that buildings need far less energy to keep them warm in the first place.. That way we’ll protect people from eyewatering bills caused by global market shocks or the actions of hostile states like Russia.

The Scottish Government recently granted enough leases for offshore wind farms to produce more than 12 times the energy of the entire offshore wind sector as it currently stands. This will create thousands of jobs.

Green minister Patrick Harvie has also announced a £300 million fund for heat networks. These allow homes and other buildings to save energy and tackle fuel poverty by sharing heat generated by a renewable source nearby.

The crisis makes it even more necessary to ensure new housing developments are built to sustainable, net zero standards. Any expansion of towns like Helensburgh must be planned so that all basic needs like schools, shops and GP surgeries are within 20 minutes – without the need for a car.

On this basis the housing plans at Helensburgh Golf Club should not be approved without clear commitments on sustainability and improvements to infrastructure, as well as stronger assurances over damage to sensitive habitats and peat bogs.

Tying new developments to improvements in transport infrastructure in particular is essential. Through the Scottish Government the Greens have secured record funding for active travel, which locally could finally mean the completion of the Dumbarton to Helensburgh cycle way.

This record funding comes alongside the rollout of free bus travel to all under 22s, ScotRail being brought into public ownership this month and a number of other efforts to make it easier and more affordable to leave the car at home.

On the note of local sustainability, I’m delighted that Helensburgh’s declaration of a ‘plastic-free town’ came as Green minister Lorna Slater announced a sweeping ban on some of the worst single use plastics in Scotland.

Whether it’s the climate crisis or Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, this is a time for us to think globally and act locally. Sometimes the challenges may seem too big and far outwith our control but there is so much we can do which will both bring about a better world and create thriving communities.