NOBODY gets involved in Green politics because they think that it will be easy. It never has been, and certainly wasn’t when I first joined the Scottish Greens back in 1991.

I was a student at Stirling at the time. I had been involved in a few different single-issue campaigns by then – against motorway building projects, in favour of cancelling “third-world debt” and anti-whaling – but had never gone as far as joining a political party.

What attracted me to the Green movement was that it acknowledged the links between all of these different issues and brought them together for the first time with a more coherent approach. It has always been about people and our planet and not sacrificing one for the other.

There have been lots of good and bad times, highs and lows, as we have built a party and a movement for change. There has been no shortage of meetings, campaign days or protests since then. We’ve made big advances, but we’ve also had huge setbacks.

READ MORE: Drag queen: 'Douglas Ross is accountable for the hatred I've suffered'

Some of the changes we want to see are massive and fundamental ones – like the decarbonisation of our economy and a global shift away from fossil fuels. But others are far smaller and simpler.

Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) should have been one of the smaller ones. Yet, time and again, it has been set back by rigged rules and party-political game-playing on the part of the Tories.

The scheme that our Parliament voted to establish was nothing radical or new. It was a simple recycling scheme. There are more than 50 schemes around the world, which have been introduced by governments of all sorts of political colours.

There are lots of people who have been campaigning for years to get a Deposit Return Scheme established, and I know they will justifiably be incredibly angry and frustrated at the Tory wrecking tactics, I am too. But, when it comes to environmental change, the Westminster-imposed barriers don’t stop there.

They could be about to get a lot worse.

The Retained EU Law Bill which is currently working its way through Westminster is already set to undermine 50 years of rights, progress and protections that we won through our membership of the European Union – and throw them on a Brexit bin fire.

Like the Internal Market Act, which has been used to delay Scotland’s DRS, it is an undemocratic bill that has been introduced by Westminster in the aftermath of the 2016 vote and has been rejected by devolved administrations. And like the Internal Market Act, it is a polluters free-for-all that is being used to undermine environmental action.

The bill seeks to remove key areas of retained EU law which were in place prior to Brexit as part of a Tory deregulation drive.

One of the areas that is set to come under the greatest attack is the laws that protect us from air pollution, with Environmental Standards Scotland warning that the bill would leave Scotland without any national programme on long-term air-quality targets.

Not content with reducing recycling, it seems that the Tories are trying to stop action to protect our lungs.

Labour say that all we need to do is sit back and wait until a Starmer government is elected and can clean things up. However, in the last few days alone, there have been announcements that hugely undermine this optimistic claim.

Only this week, the leader of the opposition re-emphasised his support for nuclear power, which is not and never can be a solution to the climate crisis. It’s unreliable, eye-wateringly expensive and leaves a long and toxic legacy for future generations.

On one hand it was very welcome to see Keir Starmer promising to block any new oil and gas exploration licences if he entered Downing Street. It was a big step and went further than any Labour leader has gone for a long time.

However, almost immediately after the ink had dried, the party’s Scottish leader Anas Sarwar let the cat out the bag by admitting that an incoming Labour government would not revoke any licences that the Tories had already agreed on.

That would include the climate-wrecking Rosebank oil field, which, at 500 million barrels, is the biggest undeveloped oil and gas field in the North Sea which is set to be agreed in the weeks ahead.

This would mean huge amounts of drilling in Scotland’s waters – none of which we can do anything to stop.

The Scottish Government is rightly investing in the renewable industries and jobs of the future, and has an assumption against new fossil fuel exploration, but all of that can be undone.

These are the huge dangers that come from having our most important environmental decisions at the mercy of a UK consensus that has held back meaningful climate action for decades.

If Scotland is unable to legislate for a recycling scheme that includes glass, then where does Westminster interference end? What else will they try to stop? With every passing day, it’s becoming clearer that Westminster can’t be trusted with our environment.

The kind of radical green change that we have campaigned for will need far more than a change of guard in Downing Street – it will need independence.