AS I write this, the impact of the devastating fires in Hawaii is still unknown but there have been at least 55 people confirmed dead and many hundreds more are missing.

The town of Lahaina is largely destroyed and emergency services are still battling to contain fires amid dangerous and unpredictable conditions.

This is a shocking tragedy, and the stories of survivors are harrowing.

One woman described how she jumped over a sea wall into the ocean where she stayed for hours to escape the flames.

My thoughts are with all those directly affected and with those who will support recovery efforts.

While the cause of the fires is still unclear, the authorities have said that a combination of conditions, including prolonged dry weather and strong winds, which have been exacerbated by climate change, have contributed to the devastation.

There is huge concern among climate scientists that the records being shattered right now – record global high temperatures, record ocean warming, record thinning of Antarctic sea ice – are all coming at the start of a natural El Nino hot weather cycle that will strengthen over the coming year.

As well as increased risks of fires and other extreme weather events, there are fears for food security and greater spread of infectious diseases in parts of the world, because of El Nino adding to existing climate warming.

 Against this backdrop it is genuinely soul-destroying to see politicians here backsliding on climate-friendly policies and looking to exploit environmental action as a wedge issue. Rishi Sunak’s recent announcement of a huge new round of North Sea drilling, which will ‘max out’ the UK’s oil and gas reserves, will have catastrophic consequences for the climate, while doing nothing for energy security.

As a policy position, it has zero credibility, but that’s not the point. On the back of the Uxbridge by-election, the PM’s team has clearly identified environmental policies as one area it can exploit in a desperate bid to cling onto power at the next General Election.

This is so wrong-headed it is hard to believe.

We Greens might believe that no other party grasps the urgency of the climate crisis like we do, but we also recognise that consensus is vital if we are to make the changes we need.

On this issue, above all others, politicians need to put partisanship to one side and recognise the urgency of the situation we are in.

 We are working hard here in Glasgow to do just that.

In the last council term, my colleague Martha Wardrop brought together a cross-party Climate Emergency Working Group which advised on the city’s Climate Plan.

More recently, bailie Elaine Gallagher has led work on the Just Transition plan, which aims to ensure that Glasgow seizes the opportunities of a low carbon future where no community is left behind.

I’m delighted that work was agreed unanimously this week.

The world is burning around us. This is no time to stoke division – climate action must be everyone’s priority.