General Election 2019: Climate crisis at the heart of packed environmental hustings
PUBLISHED: 18:03 11 December 2019 | UPDATED: 18:03 11 December 2019
It was standing room only at the environment hustings held ahead of today's General Election.
The increased concern local people have about the climate crisis and environmental issues saw more than 150 people filling out the seats in Trinity URC Church with latecomers resorting to standing at the back.
All five parliamentary candidates agreed to take part, but Anne Main was sick so her place was taken at short notice by Cllr Julian Day, the ex-leader of St Albans City and District Council.
All the candidates spoke about how seriously their parties took environmental issues, and outlined the different approaches they and their parties would take.
Questions submitted by the public ranged from global issues of the climate crisis and fossil fuel extraction to local issues of the River Ver and Luton Airport, via food security, tree planting, citizen's assemblies, retro-fitting homes and the youth climate strikes.
One of the organisers, St Albans Friends of the Earth Coordinator Amanda Yorwerth said: "We're delighted with the turn out at the environmental hustings. It demonstrates how far the environment has moved up the political agenda. I hope whoever is elected takes the opportunity to act on the promises they made this evening."
The loudest applause of the night came for two teenagers representing Extinction Rebellion, who presented the candidates with saplings, asking them to protect the saplings as they would protect the Earth, and asking all the candidates to reflect deeply on the environment when making decisions.
The hustings was run by volunteers from St Albans Friends of the Earth, Sustainable St Albans, and Extinction Rebellion St Albans. You can find Twitter commentary by searching for #EnviroHust19 and #EnviroHust2019.