OUR lives have changed significantly over the past year of the pandemic. However, during this time, many people in our city have been locked in the grip of poverty, restricted from playing a full role in the life of our communities. 

The focus of our actions must boost people’s incomes, reduce the cost of living, and create the just and green Glasgow we all want to see.

The surge in gas prices and the lifting of energy caps is going to increase fuel poverty. The lack of efficient heating is also worsening individual’s health and well-being. Many people still rely on fossil fuels to heat their homes. Scottish Greens in government are accelerating plans to make our homes more efficient and to switch from fossil fuels to renewable alternatives like heat pumps.

There is support for people to meet their heating costs and live in warm, green homes, which is helping to cut our climate emissions and tackle fuel poverty.

Not everyone has equal responsibility for the climate emergency. Success in tackling it depends on the co-operation both individually and globally. Community-led responses across Glasgow to climate change are crucial to achieving this. Our local community facilities including libraries have a pivotal role in supporting investment in community-led climate action and ensuring that tackling the climate crisis is accessed and engaged in by all.

The pandemic has demonstrated the need for our local libraries in connecting and supporting our communities. We want to look ahead with optimism and ambition to a future in which libraries help everyone to achieve their potential. This requires all libraries in Glasgow to re-open including Whiteinch, Maryhill, GoMA, Barmulloch and the Couper Institute.

With COP26 taking place in Glasgow next month, it has never been more important for libraries to play their part in combating misinformation about the stark reality of the climate crisis and embedding sustainable practices into our ways of working.

The provision of accurate, evidence-based knowledge about the reality of climate change is crucial. The National Library of Scotland has developed a Map Images website with visual examples illustrating the impact of human activity on the environment.

In its 30th anniversary year, Glasgow Women’s Library is offering an in-depth overview of COP26, its significance for Glasgow and how you can get involved. The essential need for greater representation of women amongst COP26 decision makers is highlighted. Women’s active participation in the political process has to be promoted in achieving better climate outcomes.

Seed libraries are supporting sustainable consumption and locally produced food. Glasgow Seed Library is providing a free resource available to anyone who wants to get started growing vegetables, edible flowers and herbs.

Local libraries can make the most of their role at the heart of our communities as an easily accessed recycling or repair collection point, or a place to promote local produce and other sustainable businesses nearby.

We must make the most of our much-loved libraries and their central role in bridging the digital divide, combatting poverty and supporting climate action.