Three of the four Preseli Pembrokeshire candidates put forward their green credentials at a hustings held by Friends of the Earth yesterday.

Plaid Cymru’s Cris Tomos, Labour’s Phillipa Thompson and the Liberal Democrat’s Tom Hughes answered a variety of questions from the packed audience on Monday, December 2.

A seat was left of open for Conservative incumbent MP Stephen Crabb, who said he had a prior engagement.

Mr Hughes said he thought the night may have been the busiest hustings the candidates had been to so far.

Western Telegraph:

The first questioner asked how the candidate would push for homes to be de-carbonised and if they would bring the current target forward from 2050 to 2030.

Mr Tomos said he has was passionate about making sure homes are as effective and green as possible and wanted to look at schemes that could see houses generate electricity.

“We can look at introducing new housing that are generators so that we feed into the national grid,” he said.

Mr Tomos added that he felt the grid is currently not up to standard and Plaid would look at the possibility of creating local grids.

Western Telegraph:

Philippa Thompson read a small section of Labour’s manifesto outlined Labour’s goal to cut emissions by 2030, which includes making existing homes more environmentally friendly.

She said: “I’m very conscious that there are many people in this room who know much more about the environmental issues and sustainability than I do.

“I would hope to hear from you about what are the right things, what are the sensible things as we move forward.”

Tom Hughes, outlined the Liberal Democrats two-phase plan which would see 80 per cent of emissions eliminated shortly, and all emissions by 2045 “at the latest”.

Mr Hughes said Lib Dems want councils to be able to implement “street by street” solutions to energy-saving methods and requiring new builds to be carbon neutral.

Western Telegraph:

Answering a question on what we can learn from other countries, all the candidates agreed that there were plenty of examples - good and bad - that Britain can learn from.

Mr Tomos said he would like to see more citizens getting involved in the decision making by holding citizen’s assemblies.

Ms Thompson, turned the question around and said there were good examples of where other countries could learn from Wales and wanted to see the UK become a leader again. Mr Hughes spoke of his disappointment that the UK had gone from being a leader in fighting climate change and it had now “gone downhill”, with the UK isolating itself.

Regarding reforestation, Mr Tomos said Wales has an opportunity to look for land that is not productive and hoped to be able to create community groups that could work with Natural resources Wales to introduce areas that can have natural woodland reintroduced.

Western Telegraph:

Ms Thompson said labour planned to plant billions of trees, which she said was “really ambitious", adding: “It’s really important that we are planting the right sort of tree. One example would be that we are losing a lot of ash because of ash dieback.”

Mr Hughes said the Lib Dems wanted to introduce a new nature act that would set out goals for landowners that would look to maintain biodiversity and promoting regrowth.

All candidates agree that they would like to see the extension of The Well-being of Future Generations Act extended across the UK.

Mr Hughes suggested taking tough sanctions on countries that are “destroying the planet and putting lives in danger”.

Mr Tomos agreed, saying that any country that is thought to be causing environmental harm would have their produce banned under a Plaid government, but while being creative supporting indigenous farmers.

At the end of the evening all the present candidates agreed to the Friends of the Earth pledge, which asks the candidates to make the climate crisis a “deal-breaker” in how they would vote in parliament.

Tomorrow (Wednesday, December 4), the Fishguard and Goodwick Town Team will host a hustings in Fishguard Bay Hotel at 7pm where all four candidates will be present.