TOMORROW will be one of the biggest days in the history of the Scottish Greens. After months of meetings and consultation, our members will vote on whether to accept the co-operation agreement that we have negotiated with the Scottish Government.

If they choose to back it, then it will be the first time that Green politicians have been in government anywhere in the UK. It would put Green voices right at the heart of decision-making and could be a vital step on Scotland’s journey to independence.

At its heart, the agreement is a positive, progressive and ambitious vision for Scotland’s future. It is a bold programme that breaks from the stifling and regressive Westminster consensus and offers the kind of transformative solutions that Scotland is crying out for.

The timing is urgent. The world is on fire and all governments need to take radical and immediate action. Further delay is not an option. Every country has a role to play, and we must play ours.

This agreement would accelerate investment in renewable technology and take important steps towards the green transition that we urgently need.

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It would mean doubling our onshore wind capacity, expanding marine-based renewables and investing £5 billion in our railways and record amounts in active travel, creating thousands of new jobs in the process. It would mean 18,000 hectares of new woodland every year and the establishment of at least one new national park.

These are not minor changes. They would signal a whole different approach to what has come before and what is being done across the rest of the UK.

It is an agenda for change that puts people first. It would see major changes to housing, including more social housing and a new and better deal for tenants, which in turn include protections from eviction and the right to keep pets and redecorate. Most importantly, it would mean rent controls. Again, these are changes that would help people across Scotland, including young people and families with stretched incomes.

These are the sorts of big and meaningful reforms that housing campaigners have been demanding for years, and our members can make them a reality.

Right now, we are witnessing an ugly and reactionary campaign that aims to roll back the rights of LGBTQ+ people. This agreement stands firmly against that campaign.

Our party stands shoulder to shoulder and side by side with the LGBTQ+ community, and equality is central to this agreement. It would see a ban on “conversion therapy” as well as the fast-tracking of much-needed equality legislation, including a commitment to reform the Gender Recognition Act.

The agreement we are proposing is unlike any that Scotland has seen before. It is not a formal coalition in the sense that previous Labour/LibDem governments were. It focuses on the areas where our parties agree, while allowing us to maintain our distinct identity.

There will be areas where we may not see eye to eye, but I believe that the best way to have those conversations is around a table and as part of a government that is delivering real and important changes for the people of Scotland.

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It will also put green voices at the heart of the independence movement and debate. We stand for a fairer, greener Scotland in Europe and will argue for it at every turn. We can do so much better than Boris Johnson and his colleagues.

I believe that by demonstrating the scale of our ambition, and by doing things differently, we can build support for a referendum and for independence itself.

In little over two months, the eyes of the world will be on Scotland when we host the COP26 conference. We can ensure that the vision of Scotland on display is that of a bold, confident nation that is leading the way on social and environmental change.

Even in opposition, Green MSPs have delivered for Scotland, including free bus travel for everyone under 22, free school meals for all primary school children and progressive income tax reform so that millions pay less while only the richest pay more.

But we aren’t in parliament because we want to be in permanent opposition. My colleagues and I believe that this agreement will allow us to secure even more of these changes. It will allow us to turn large parts of the manifesto we stood on into reality and maximise our voice in Parliament and beyond.

That is why so much of the response from the pro-Union parties and Westminster commentators has been so angry and vitriolic. They can see how transformational this agreement would be and how sharply it would contrast from Downing Street.

This agreement may take some of us out of our comfort zones, but if we are serious about changing Scotland then we need to be prepared to take risks. This is an unprecedented and exciting opportunity for us to improve the lives of millions of people, while setting vital precedents and building the campaign for independence.

Negotiations can be difficult, but we approached these ones positively and constructively and it has paid off. Tomorrow, Green Party members will come together to debate this agreement. I am very proud to recommend it to them and sincerely hope that they choose to support it.