IT SEEMS 2022 will be remembered for war, a cost of living crisis and worsening impacts of climate change around the world – 2023 must be the year where we take decisive action to protect people from these crises.

The signs had been there for years that Putin was a grave threat to the freedom of Ukraine, but 2022 brought home just how far he was prepared to go to erase a whole nation from history.

The response from the Ukrainian people has been inspiring and in an age of social media we have all been able to reach out in solidarity with communities across Ukraine, while bearing witness to the horrors committed.

Last year there was something of the 'Covid spirit' in the way people at home fundraised for Ukraine and then eventually welcomed Ukrainian families to Scotland.

We should also not forget that many other conflicts, crises and human rights abuses around the world are forcing people to flee from their homes and seek sanctuary in the UK.

Some are seeking to use their legal rights to claim asylum in the UK, but are effectively forced to use unsafe routes to arrive here because of the UK Government's hostile policies.

Many will continue to die until Westminster starts humanising migrants and treating them as we would treat our own families.

The war in Ukraine felt closer to home than many other conflicts, the world felt a little smaller as a result and we are seeing the same effect with climate change.

With record temperatures and extreme weather events accelerating, climate change is happening everywhere.

The devastating impact last year on countries including Pakistan led to millions of people being displaced from their homes, many more will become climate refugees unless we can help rebuild communities globally and make them resilient to floods, storms, droughts and heat waves.

We live in an increasingly interconnected world and the importance of working together with other nations to tackle climate change and promote peace has never been more important.

Last year showed us the folly of leaving the European Union, the world's greatest project for peace and prosperity.

Hopefully, 2023 will see Scotland, in a small way, re-connected to Europe again through a new ferry route from Rosyth, it should help give us a lower carbon option to flying.

As our economy has looked increasingly isolated and weak, the EU has tackled the threat from Putin head on, starting a massive shift away from Russian gas to clean energy.

Scotland and the UK has so much to offer Europe in that transition but the fixation of the UK Government in approving new oil fields and coal mines was a backward step in the run up to COP27 in Egypt.

Since the New Year, I've been re-doubling my calls for the UK Government to cancel the proposed Rosebank oil and gas field to the West of Shetland and instead for it to create financial incentives for oil and gas companies to invest their vast profits into renewables.

The new Scottish Government energy strategy will focus on getting that transition working now, expanding onshore and offshore windfarms, investing in solar, green hydrogen and other technologies, while bringing a renewed focus to energy efficiency in our homes.

Thousands of jobs will need to be built up to meet the climate and energy cost crises head on.

I hope 2023 will see a renewed focus on tackling the big global challenges that we also face at home, there is much work to do.