IT IS FANTASTIC that Scotland is hosting COP26.

The road to this summit has not been easy but I hope it will be a historic success.

The UK is one of the greenest countries in the world and this UN conference will give us the opportunity to lead the way in ensuring the safeguarding of our Earth and environment for generations to come.

Politicians from across the world have a responsibility to put our planet first.

In East Lothian, I am proud to say that we punch well above our weight when it comes to the green sector and renewables.

I recently met with SSE Renewables and Alexander Dennis to discuss opportunities for young people in renewables. I am also taking a keen interest in employment opportunities for local people at the Berwick Bank offshore windfarm project off the coast of Dunbar.

The Berwick Bank project alone will have the capacity to deliver up to 4.1GW of energy. That is enough energy to supply over five million homes with electricity and cut carbon emissions by eight million tonnes. To put that into perspective, this project will generate enough energy to power all Scottish households twice over and cut carbon emissions by the amount of Scotland’s annual car emissions. This is an essential step in our journey towards net-zero emissions, and it is being led by engineers from East Lothian.

Across the county, we are taking big steps forward. This includes countryside volunteers who look after important green spaces and heritage sites around the county – including carrying out work to support local bumblebee populations. The In Bloom groups have also been doing their bit.

East Lothian has an exciting opportunity ahead to grow into a hub for green and renewable energy which will support jobs for young people and help the fight against climate change.