A climate and nature hustings run by Yorkshire charities and campaigners will take place tomorrow evening in the hope of moving the environment up the political agenda in local election campaigns.

The event, set for 25 April, is in collaboration with the Festival of Debate, which is the largest annual politics festival in the UK, and is being run by locally-based charities including Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, Hope for the Future and South Yorkshire Climate Alliance.

Each of the four political parties currently represented by the Council has been invited to send a representative, making the hustings an ideal opportunity for the public to meet the candidates running for election and ask them how and if they will prioritise the issue of climate change.

Chair of the Climate Alliance, Geoff Cox, said: “We must remember the recent words of the United Nations’ Secretary General that everyone, and everywhere, needs to be acting on the climate and biodiversity crises facing humanity – and that includes Sheffield. Find out what the different parties in this election are offering, and bear that in mind when you come to cast your vote.”

The importance of tackling environmental problems within the city has been echoed by advocacy officer Ian Cracknell from Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust.

Mr Cracknell said: “Almost two years have passed since Sheffield’s councillors unanimously declared a nature emergency in our city. It is now time for our local representatives to step up efforts and enact meaningful change if we are to see a recovery for both climate and nature by the target of 2030.”

The main topics that will be covered at the hustings are sustainable transport, warmer homes, green jobs and energy and climate impacts such as flooding with non-party political campaigner, Nigel Slack, set to chair the discussion.

The questions will be taken alongside those of local businesses and organisations in the hope of getting as many people’s voices heard as possible.

Engagement officer at Hope for the Future, Alex Clegg, said: “Local councils have a huge role to play in tackling climate change and protecting our natural environment. Sheffield City Council is no different.

“Decisions by councils can make a big difference, whether improving public transport, ensuring warmer and more energy efficient homes, or protecting green spaces. This event is an opportunity for residents, business owners and communities across the city to come together and hear our future councillors’ plans on what to do to reduce carbon emissions and adapt to a changing climate.”

The event is open to everyone and will take place online on Tuesday 25 April at 7pm via Zoom.

Registration for the hustings is free and the link to the webinar can be found here

To find out more about the event visit the Festival of Debate website here