NEXT year Glasgow could be hosting the world’s biggest climate change summit since Paris 2015.

Tens of thousands of experts, officials, academics, scientists and politicians will be in the city if the UK bid to host the UN Climate Change conference is successful.

It will bring a massive economic boost to the city’s businesses, which will be welcome but affords an even greater opportunity for the city.


UN summit set for Glasgow

It is an opportunity for Glasgow to look at how, as a city of more than half a million people, we can contribute to a wider global effort to reduce our emissions and slow down global warming.

In every aspect of our lives we can make small individual decisions that collectively make an impact.

Reducing single use plastic, eliminating food waste, reducing reliance on car travel are all personal decisions that will help.

It’s not being an eco-warrior or a crusty, tree hugging hippy snacking on a bag of mung beans as some politicians and media like to portray people who care about the environment, but simply responsible citizens who care about where they live.

Big business will have to respond, once they see changing patterns of behaviour affecting their profits they will adapt to chase the money.

Morrisons, for one, has been boasting for some time now about being the first supermarket to ban plastic packaging for fruit and veg.

Not in the stores I’ve been in it hasn’t. Bananas, which come in their own handy colourful peelable packaging, in plastic bags. Peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and many others all in plastic.

But at least they are moving towards a goal of using less of something that is so obviously damaging and in too many cases completely unnecessary.

Supermarkets also encourage food waste by packaging food in quantities greater than what people need.

If customers apply pressure though their choices they will react.

Politicians will respond to. Well, some will.

Pressure from environmental groups over the years has led to greener policies being adopted by the big parties.

Council and government have a crucial role to play here as well. How often have you looked at a piece of packaging only to find it is “not widely recyclable”.

Conversations between governments, councils and producers need to be had to ensure where packaging is necessary it can be recycled.

But the bottom line is we care about the future of the planet that we will leave behind then we can’t leave it up to others.

Collectively our individual choices will be the driving force and will wither heal or harm the environment.

We can all do our bit. And then when the powerful come to Glasgow we can tell them to do theirs.

Protecting the planet begins at home.

WHAT doesn’t help is the annual increase in train fares. I

n January fares will go up by 2.8%.

Bus fares also rise every year and the cost of travel for people getting to work and children to school is for many people becoming a major expense.

It’s not like that in every city.


Train fares to rise again next year

In many places train travel is far cheaper than in the UK and it manages to be efficient at the same time. And buses in many places are far cheaper too.

If we are trying to encourage people to use public transport then it has to be an attractive option and that means starting with making it affordable to all.

Transport is an essential service for people travelling to work, school and appointments.

It makes no sense for so much of the cash from peoples wages going into the profits of big business, whether they are Scottish, British or foreign.

It is time that we seriously looked at a pilot of free public transport in Glasgow.

HAVE you noticed a distinct change in the air recently?

Politicians, usually lesser spotted and quieter in August when both Westminster and Holyrood are in recess, are more visible and audible than they should be.

Statements on law and order, police and prisons.

Warnings about deals between one lot and another lot.

Selfie-loving leafleting gangs marauding through the streets tweeting about “great response on the doorsteps” despite hardly anyone ever actually being doorstepped.

Such unusual activity in the summer can only mean something is happening.

Yes, you guessed it. There must be a General Election coming.