CLIMATE change was top of the political agenda in Cardigan last night (November 28) as Extinction Rebellion staged a hustings for the Ceredigion prospective parliamentary candidates.

Five of the six candidates contesting the seat were present – Gethin James (Brexit), Amanda Jenner (Conservative), Ben Lake (Plaid Cymru), Dinah Mulholland (Labour), Chris Simpson (Green Party) – with Mark Williams (Liberal Democrat) unable to attend.

His place was taken by Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Liberal Democrat candidate Alistair Cameron.

Around 50 people attended the event at St Mary’s Church Hall as the candidates faced questions on their parties’ policies regarding climate change.

Opening the event, Jim Bowen, from Extinction Rebellion, said: “This election is a climate election as it affects all of us and is the one issue that does not come and go.

“Politicians have not done enough and the climate is collapsing all over the world. Our politicians have brought us to the edge of extinction and it is beyond party politics.

“We want the state of denial to end and action to be taken now. This is why this election is the most important the country has seen.”

All candidates were posed the same questions and asked to outline their priority action in Ceredigion.

Amanda Jenner said: “My priority would be to get the investment we need for flood defences. As a party, we are funding this on a UK level and I would fight hard for Ceredigion to get those defences.”

Gethin James said: “The rivers have to be managed the way they used to be. National Resources Wales must manage them properly. It is a devolved power so as an MP I would lobby Assembly members.”

Alistair Cameron said: “Transport is a massive issue here. People are very reliant on cars and we want to change that. We need to improve public transport and encourage more electric cars, which means more investment in charging points.”

Chris Simpson said: “We would roll out a programme of retro-fitting house insulation as many homes are inadequate. That is the single most effective way in Ceredigion to reduce CO2 emissions – efficient heating and insulation.”

Dinah Mulholland said: “We have to change the whole system from the bottom up otherwise everything is just window dressing and work with international partners to translate our plans across the globe.”

Ben Lake said: “We need to look at a localised energy grid and small-scale hydro or wind turbines. We need to decarbonise out energy supply and make sure it is created locally and consumed locally.”

All the candidates agreed to sign up to the Friends of the Earth climate action pledge, which states: “I will make the climate crisis a deal breaker in how I vote in Parliament.”