The pandemic has devastated our economy and unfortunately, it is far from over.

The damage is so bad that it presents us with an opportunity, one we wish we didn’t have but which we nevertheless now do.

Instead of rebuilding a failed system, one where one in four Scottish children lived in poverty and which has brought our climate to a point of crisis, we can instead build back better.

We can create a system which puts people and the planet ahead of the profits of a greedy few.

My party’s way of doing that is a Scottish Green New Deal. Fortunately, we’d been publishing plans for the Green New Deal in the months before the pandemic hit us.

In some cases, such as securing free bus travel for under 19s from 2021, we have already negotiated and secured key Green proposals.

Public transport is a key part of the Green New Deal. Making it affordable and accessible for families reduces another financial burden on those who are struggling, as well as tackling the climate crisis and making our air cleaner by taking more cars off the street.

Increasing bus use amongst young people will also save many of the routes across the country which were at risk of being cut due to what their operators saw as under-use.

There’s much more to the Green New Deal than transport, though. The Scottish Greens have plans to create more than 200,000 quality jobs in the clean industries of the future, like renewable energy.

Earlier this year we published plans for a booming manufacturing sector, drawing on Scotland’s proud history in heavy industry.

Renewable energy and manufacturing are two key linked sectors for Scotland. Our potential to generate renewable energy is huge, but as we do more and more of this, it’s outrageous that the equipment we use is manufactured elsewhere and shipped here, when we could be creating thousands of quality manufacturing jobs in Scotland.

And a strong society needs to be held together by better local public services like schools and social care, which have been neglected for too long.

That’s why Green MSPs negotiated an extra £1.67 million to go to West Dunbartonshire Council in this year’s Scottish Budget, saving services that would have otherwise been cut.

Scotland needs to build back better from this crisis. We need an economy that serves people and planet, not the other way round. We need a Scottish Green New Deal.