TO the sounds of Sinatra’s ‘My Way’, and barely restrained laughter from the CNN news team, Donald Trump finally vacated the Presidency of the United States.

After recent events, the relief was palpable. After all ‘His Way’ was to incite far-right violence which left five people dead and to sow conspiracy and hate.

The new presidential team faces a mammoth task to heal the mess he made.

Nevertheless, the inaugurations of Joe Biden

and Kamala Harris this week was cause for hope, for stopping coronavirus deaths, and for restoring integrity in politics.

They have taken instant action to reverse some of the most egregious decisions of the Trump reign, including his racist travel bans, narrowing of civil rights, and withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.

The latter is good news for Glasgow.

Having the world’s second largest polluter round the table raises hopes for the COP26 climate conference when it takes place here later in the year.

COP26 needs to drive urgent and radical action to cut emissions.

There’ll be much talk of targets – but targets mean nothing unless there’s a plan to achieve them.

Worse still, targets, while they remain distant, can even be used to excuse inaction. That would be entirely the wrong approach.

But it remains a real risk, not just on the global stage, but also here in Glasgow.

The SNP Council is currently consulting on its climate emergency implementation plan. Greens, on the streets, in communities, and in the Council Chambers, have forced the climate and nature emergencies to the top of the agenda.

But the draft plan falls short of what we think is needed from an emergency response.

First, it proposes two different goals – to be carbon neutral by 2030, and then to achieve net zero emissions by 2045.

That’s unhelpful. We need a single goal, it must be urgent and ambitious, and it must unite people behind a common understanding of the task in hand.

2045 is too late – we must act like it’s an emergency. 2030 is when climate science tells us is the point of no return.

So we need to visualise what a zero emissions city looks like and make it happen. Fast.

That’s why Scottish Greens councillors are urging a single target for net zero emissions by 2030, bringing us into line with other cities like Bristol and Edinburgh.

More importantly, we must focus our response squarely on things we can do now, with existing technologies, to drive down emissions rapidly, rather than pinning hopes on things that might happen, but equally might not, in years to come.

We also need an honest conversation about the powers and resources we need locally to achieve our goals – otherwise the targets mean nothing at all. That might be uncomfortable for the SNP Council. It will certainly show up how centralising the SNP in Holyrood is.

But if we want to do things our way – to be bolder, go further, and do more, as I believe Glasgow should – then we must have the powers to act.