LAST week saw one of the biggest rallies ever at Holyrood with hundreds of workers from Bi-Fab and their families marching to save jobs.

They are on the sharp end of our efforts to curb climate change, knocking into shape foundations for giant offshore wind turbines that will mean we can keep fossil fuels in the ground un-burned.

However, despite a bright future for the industry as a whole, there are concerns that Scotland could lose out as international companies position themselves to capture work. Bi-Fab is being put under contractual pressure at a point when the company is financially vulnerable.

A temporary solution to the cash flow problems has now been found by the Scottish Government, but in the medium term we need an industrial strategy in Scotland. In the 1980s, Scotland lost the lead on the wind turbine manufacturing because of a lack of strategic government support, we must never lose the lead on renewables again.

While the workers were marching, the first minister was in Germany at the international climate change talks. I have been pushing the Scottish Government to go further on climate targets and with new legislation coming to Holyrood soon we have a chance to set a target which would effectively end the use of fossil fuels by 2040.

The Green Party government in Sweden has recently set a similar target and it’s a big driver for investment in renewables. I’m delighted with the ban on fracking, but we now need to seize the positive opportunities that a fossil free world could bring over the next two decades.

I enjoyed the opening ceremony of Stirling University’s new INTO centre last week. The futuristic building will welcome international students from around the world to Scotland.

If they need help with language or tuition support the centre will be a gateway to access learning. With students from over 120 countries at Stirling we need certainty that students can come to live, study and work locally post-Brexit.

Holyrood will be frantically busy dealing with the realities of Brexit from now on. Hundreds of pieces of legislation will be coming to committees from next Spring as European laws are returned and spliced into UK and Scots law.

We need to be careful that the European progress we take for granted is not watered down or thrown out along the way.

An early casualty has been a key legal principle that protects the welfare of animals. European law has for decades recognised that animals are sentient.

This has driven improvements in farm animal welfare and laws that protect our pets.

The Westminster Repeal Bill has now dropped this principle. It’s just one of hundreds of protections we could lose.

On this and many other areas the Scottish Government has the devolved powers to support progressive European values and laws, or to listen to those who wish to collapse standards in the name of de-regulation and the profit motive.

Green MSPs will be staying vigilant and making the case to keep hard won progress.