STUDENTS quizzed Isle of Wight General Election candidates on climate change today (Friday) — asking how, as the future MP, they would tackle environmental issues that will affect their future.

Organised by the Cowes Enterprise College Eco Council, a student body, the event was attended by five of the six parliamentary candidates — Carl Feeney (Independent Network), Karl Love (Independent), Vix Lowthion (Green Party), Richard Quigley (Labour) and Bob Seely (Conservative).

They faced around 1,200 students in one of the country's first school-time hustings — where it was revealed Mr Feeney kept his own chickens, Mr Love had a reusable water bottle and Mr Seely mended his clothes instead of buying new ones.

The college has been supporting the 'global strike 4 future' movement by taking students out of lessons to discuss how to tackle climate change. They have also written letters to politicians.

The hustings was held so the students could find out where the candidates  stand.

College principal Rachel Kitley said: "We are really delighted our school community shared in this experience.

"It is essential students are engaged in politics and equally essential they are engaged with the community — so it was good to hear from the candidates."

The candidates were given a minute to reply to the students' questions — they asked about individual changes the candidates had made to their lifestyles, whether they would reduce bus prices and which global warming issue would be prioritised if they became MP.

Ms Lowthion said fossil fuel extraction had to be stopped. She said: "We cannot declare a climate emergency and still allow fossil fuels to be exploited."

Mr Quigley said behaviours, and laws, needed to change to ensure  action was taken on climate change — starting with free bus travel for under 25s and handing back responsibility for public transport to the Isle of Wight Council.

He said: "We are hypocrites. We fit energy saving lightbulbs on the weekend and then fly to Dubai for a holiday.

"We should invest in wind, solar and tidal energy and look at creating green apprenticeships and jobs for the Island."

Mr Love said changes should be made locally to give students a better future, and every government policy should take the environment into account.

When asked how much plastic would be needed to build a fixed link, Solent Freedom Tunnel campaigner Mr Feeney said it would be mostly concrete, with almost no plastic — and promised more job opportunities for the students when it was built.

Mr Seely said the first thing he would do, when he was returned to parliament, would be to pass the Environment Bill, making the country one of the world leaders in transforming society to be more eco-friendly.

Students will now hold their own mock election on December 12.