Welcome to the SNP’s annual conference.
We come together at what I hope will be a turning point for the world.
As the dust settles from the historic summit of COP26, I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud to call Glasgow my hometown.
The excellent organization of the event and the warm welcome from Glasgowians was praised by almost all of the international visitors I spoke to.
I have met so many inspiring people from all corners of the world eager to hear Scotland’s contribution to tackling the climate emergency.
And, in turn, we have learned a lot from others. Scotland has made many new friends and forged new relationships which will serve us well in the months and years to come.
COP26 ensured significant progress on a number of key issues, but it is clear that the world must go further – and faster – in reducing the emissions that put our planet at risk.
Independent or not, the SNP will always strive to ensure that Scotland plays its part in this global challenge.
We have done all we can to ensure that Scotland’s voice is heard at COP26, and I look forward to the day when we are at the top table as an independent nation, participating in key decisions as a partner. equal.
As we focused on making the summit a success, Boris Johnson spent much of his time in Westminster, managing to distract from tackling the climate emergency and create his own emergency within the Conservative Party.
Additionally, as we step up our efforts to build a net zero society, the Conservative government has refused to support the Northeast Carbon Capture and Storage Project – a project that will support tens of thousands of jobs.
Hopefully humanity reaches a turning point in the fight against climate change – but closer to home, the rapidly changing world should give us pause as well.
We have had an incredibly difficult time with the pandemic, and I continue to be impressed by our health and social services staff – as well as the countless people across Scotland who have moved communities.
We have ambitious plans in place to ensure that our recovery from COVID builds a fairer and greener society.
But that recovery is being held back by a Tory party hurting our economy with an unwanted hard Brexit, and now removing funding and powers from the Scottish Parliament as part of its drive to further tighten control over Westminster.
Our actions in government are building a better Scotland today – but the effective use of the limited powers of devolution also gives a glimpse of what could be achieved with the full powers of independence.
It has been a difficult few years for all of us, but we must always remember that Scotland is a rich nation, endowed with natural resources and human talents that most countries can only dream of.
So let’s face the future with confidence and optimism.
And let’s continue to aim high for Scotland as we persuade more people that independence is the best path for the country.