In Glasgow, political parties have united behind a plan focused on climate change action to deliver a carbon neutral city by 2030. I was delighted that fellow councillors, including those from the administration, signed up to recommendations which speed up the city’s transition to a zero-carbon economy.

The production of this plan and its 61 recommendations has been a collaborative process which aimed to ensure Glasgow City Council can respond effectively to the climate emergency. The presentations from a range of experts, the responses to the public consultation, feedback from eco-committees of schools across the city and ideas submitted by members of the climate emergency working group that I chaired, have informed the development of the recommendations. Glasgow residents have asked for increased involvement in cutting carbon emissions and they want more leadership from councillors on the climate emergency.

As a city, we are outward looking, seeking to promote social justice and equality globally. There is a requirement for the council to take a strong role in working with a range of organisations to address flooding, extreme heat and ecological collapse. Transformative actions have been framed by the Climate Emergency Working Group, with reference to priorities of the council’s Strategic Plan which was adopted in November 2017. By agreeing this approach on a cross-party basis, I believe the efforts of the working group have been applied to enable the council to act to address the climate emergency right away. I think that local government has to show that it can build resilience and embed the climate emergency into its everyday activity. Council departments in Glasgow will be asked to develop detailed and costed plans to deliver the rapid reduction in carbon emissions required, and there will be an increased focus on community engagement, climate education and low carbon skills.

There will always be dissenting voices when something this transformative is proposed. People have suggested that more woodland would lead to more crime, or that more pedestrianised areas would restrict access to the city centre. But as well as being absolutely necessary to tackle the climate emergency, green solutions are also about localism, public ownership and wellbeing. When communities have a sense of agency over their local assets, they are much more likely to look after them. As well as storing carbon, community woodland created space for families and supports learning in the outdoors. Community gardens and allotments can support food growing to tackle poverty and hunger. Increased facilities for walking and cycling gets people more active, improving their health, and creates an environment that is safer for disabled people.

It is no coincidence that the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh are the ones with the bolder plans on tackling the climate emergency. Those are the local authorities with the most Scottish Green councillors. Reports from other councils give me cause for worry. For example, councillors in Angus have voted to remove their 2045 carbon neutral target and have also dropped key actions from their plan. Given the UN has given us a decade to turn this around, that simply isn’t good enough.

It’s important we look at these things in the whole and come up with an emergency response, like we have done in Glasgow. Delivering the vision in Glasgow will require working with the business community, third sector, communities and citizens to achieve a just transition. The working group established partnership working with members of Extinction Rebellion, Get Glasgow Moving, Divest Strathclyde, the 2050 Group, the Centre for Climate Justice, and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce. Broader open dialogue is needed to share knowledge, collaborate further and involve communities and citizens in making Glasgow a carbon neutral and resilient city. There is a need for community hubs, workplaces and schools to focus on climate issues and develop climate emergency networks within local neighbourhoods. This activism will take forward meaningful changes which increase recycling, reduce plastic, promote a refill shopping culture, and develop land for food growing.

But with only 10 years to make radical changes, we need action to start right away, and that means all councillors pushing for the delivery of a climate emergency budget. This is challenging, but further investment in low carbon activities is vital to achieve the necessary reduction in the council’s carbon emissions by 2030. We also need the Scottish and UK governments to do their bit, particularly decarbonising how we heat our homes, and bringing forward current phase-out dates for petrol and diesel vehicles.

And we need a firm commitment to divest the city’s pension funds from fossil fuels. That was a very clear message from the public consultation. With Glasgow looking likely to host next year’s UN Climate Summit, that’s the sort of radical action we need if we’re going to back up ambitious targets with real change in the wider economy. The work has only just begun

I have been inspired by the youth climate strikers. Strong leadership has to be developed amongst local councillors to deliver the climate change action that our young people are asking for. It is vital to remember that no-one is too small to make a difference.

Martha Wardrop is a Scottish Green Party councillor at Glasgow City Council.