Harrogate candidates speak out on plans to tackle climate change
The four candidates for the Harrogate and Knaresborough seat in the upcoming election attended a buzzing hustings event last night.
The event was hosted by pressure group Zero Carbon Harrogate and was organised to tackle the topic of climate change.
The 'green' hustings, held at Wesley Chapel on Oxford Street, was full, with people turning out to hear the candidates voice their policies for a more sustainable future.
Kieron George (Yorkshire Party), Andrew Jones (Conservative), Judith Rogerson (Liberal Democrats) and Mark Sewards (Labour) all took part in the debate, giving a five minute presentation before accepting questions submitted by the audience.
The candidates all agreed that the planet was facing a climate emergency and stressed the importance of putting policies in place to tackle the problem.
They all said it was one of the most important issues on the agenda for the Government.
Topics included more tree planting, becoming a carbon neutral country and carbon-production based tax measures, as well as greener transport methods.
Kieron George said that funding discrepancies in Yorkshire compared to London were the first things that needed to be tackled in order to make progress.
He said: "Climate change is the biggest threat facing Yorkshire, but we can't handle that without the transport and education funding we need. The Yorkshire Party wants to give our region the political and economic power that we deserve so we can face this. With more funding we could look at more education and greener transport."
Andrew Jones said that that the Conservatives had already started to make progress on this issue but that they had plans to do more in future.
He added: "There is no bigger issue. We have just published the 'greenest' manifesto we have ever done and we will continue to work on this on a local and national scale. We will make sure we achieve zero net carbon by 2050 and further crack down on waste, as well as introducing a levy to reduce plastic in the waste stream."
Judith Rogerson said that the Liberal Democrats were taking a strong stance on climate change and wanted to see drastic changes in the coming years.
She said: "We are the first generation to know the damage we are doing to the planet and the last with the chance to change it. We have an achievable but ambitious plan, we want to get to zero net carbon by 2045, but we want to do the majority of the work in the next ten years. We will continue to encourage investment in green projects and plant 60 million trees every year."
Mark Sewards also said that the time had come for more green measures to be introduced in order to save the planet for future generations.
He said: "Labour recognises that we have to take bold and radical action now. We have a strong plan to tackle this so our children have a clean planet to grow up on. We will spend £250 billion on green transport funding and create one million 'green' jobs. There is no question, this has to be on the national curriculum and teachers need to be trained on it. "