AT ONLY 25 years old, Holyrood is still a young parliament, but it would never have existed without decades of campaigning by activists and campaigners who laid the groundwork and made it a reality.

From the political leaders to the grassroots groups handing out leaflets and winning over their friends and neighbours one conversation at a time, the Scotland we are living in now is one that they built and shaped for us.

It was a sense of history that I felt when I was first elected in 2003 and one that is shared with visitors to Holyrood every day. What was once a far-off idea has become part of our national story.

Now, there are decisions that today’s generation of politicians will take that will write the next chapter in that story. Nowhere is this more apparent than the action we take to address the biggest threat of all: the climate emergency.

We have more information at our fingertips, but that has not resulted in the rush or the urgency that it should. We know more than ever before about what we’re facing. Climate Central, for example, produces daunting flood maps that take it to a street-by-street level. It was our sense of obligation to our planet, and our commitment to current and future generations, that inspired the Scottish Greens to accept the historic offer to join the Scottish Government in 2021.

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It wasn’t always easy. The SNP and the Scottish Greens have always been different parties with different visions, but we found common ground and we focused on turning green priorities into action.

There were a lot of big steps that we took for climate and nature. The expansion of free bus travel to everyone under 22, the biggest investment in recycling for a generation, an end to new incineration licences. These were among the many examples of change we achieved.

Yet, even as we were working together, we always knew that there were big differences between our parties.

Nowhere was this more apparent than on questions of oil and gas. That’s why it was such a turning point when the Scottish Government’s draft energy strategy accepted the evidence-led position of a presumption against new oil and gas exploration.

Nicola Sturgeon may have taken the bold and historic step of breaking from years of SNP support for the fossil fuel industry, but that doesn’t mean that she took her party with her.

By the time that the Bute House Agreement collapsed it was apparent there were MPs and MSPs, including Cabinet ministers, who were unwilling to take the climate action we need. What we’re seeing now is an SNP government without a Green influence, and they’re retreating to their old discredited stance.

The decision to move away from the presumption against new oil and gas shows a timidity that doesn’t bode well.

This week Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, Kate Forbes, has said that all new oil and gas licences should be considered on a “case by case” basis and be subject to a climate compatibility test.

But any test worthy of the name would only tell the Government what it already knows: there is no safe amount of new drilling that we can do. It’s not just the Scottish Greens who say so; this is the position of the UN, the International Energy Agency, and climate scientists around the world.

But it’s not just questions of new drilling that should concern us. We have also seen them moving away from a windfall tax on polluters, with John Swinney suggesting that even the current weak, loophole-ridden version has gone too far.

The months ahead will see the publication of the Scottish Government’s energy strategy. It must live up to the scale of the challenges we face. At a time of record temperatures and rising sea levels we need to be doubling down on action, not retreating from it.

The SNP are far from the only party at fault. The Tories are open about wanting to hand as much of our North Sea as possible over to Big Oil. They have ripped up climate policies and treated our environment as a culture war. Of every decision Rishi Sunak made in office, his decision to rubber stamp the 300-million-barrel catastrophe of the Rosebank oil field will surely prove to be his worst and most reckless.

Meanwhile, Labour are utterly confused. They had an ambitious £28 billion climate plan, but they dropped it. Then they had a proposal for a GB Energy company, but nobody, including Keir Starmer, seems to know what it actually is. They claim to oppose new oil and gas licences but promised to keep every single one that the Tories approved. This isn’t a party that’s remotely serious about our environment.

The Westminster government we are about to elect will be taking office at a crucial time. Huge strides are needed for a transition to a green and sustainable economy: anything less than that would spell climate disaster.

More than any other election in our history, our future will be on the ballot paper.

Green voices are more necessary than ever if we are to tell future generations the story about how we averted environmental breakdown. On July 4 we need to vote like our future depends on it, because it really does.