THE scientists (and Prince Charles) are telling us it’s Last Chance Saloon in Glasgow right now as the Conference of Parties gathers for the 26th time to discuss urgent action on climate change. 

If only we’d all listened decades ago. 

There has been progress for sure, but my goodness we have a long way to go. 

Johnson is good on talk (though the Fall of the Roman Empire is surely a minor setback in the history of human civilisation compared to the planetary calamity which awaits us if we fail to act now), but it’s deeds that count. 

Carbon Literacy training for Rishi Sunak with a focus on carbon budgets would be a good start. 

Climate Change was not a dominant feature of his latest Budget. While the establishment of the National Infrastructure Bank to accelerate projects, some of which could tackle climate change, and the introduction of Green Bonds are welcome, the freeze on duties for fossil fuels for the eleventh year, a new coal mine in Cumbria, halving the tax on domestic flights and cuts to international aid cannot be congruent with our climate and nature goals.  

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COP26 can only be meaningful if there is co-operation and collaboration (the current spat with the French over fishing does not bode well), probably the biggest challenge of all, one to which we must also rise as citizens. 

In addition, it will require honesty (that means including the carbon footprint of goods manufactured overseas in our carbon emission figures), a focus on the long term and a degree of self-sacrifice, none of which looks good on the side of a red bus. 

I think Wales has got it right with their Minister for Future Generations, although she could do with some actual power. 

The time has come for us all to be ministers for future generations and for Nature, especially those elected members attending COP26, in whose trust our future depends.

Lib Dem Executive Member for Climate Change, Somerset West and Taunton Council