BBC Tory debate: Viewers outraged at treatment of climate change issue

VIEWERS were fumed by the BBC’s handling of climate change issues during Monday’s debate between Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak.

Both prime minister candidates faced questions on a wide range of topics from Russia’s war in Ukraine to the economy, taxation, their stance on China, to Truss’ ears.

However, many viewers on social media have made it clear they feel there is not enough time given to climate change issues, after record temperatures as the UK hit 40C for the first time last week.

Presenter Sophie Raworth framed the issue around personal responsibility instead, asking the two candidates: “What are three things people should change in their lives to help tackle climate change faster?”

LEARN MORE: Climate crisis: Tories have nothing but worthless words even as England burns

Sunak said he takes his advice from his daughters and their first piece of advice is to “reduce energy use through things like better energy efficiency.”

He added: “The benefit of that is also saving a lot of money, which is fantastic, and that’s why the government should be doing more about it.

“The second is recycling, and that’s what we’re obsessed with back home. I know it’s a pain, it takes a lot of bins, but it’s something very good for the environment.

“And I think the third thing I would say is we need to focus on innovation, because we’re going to solve this problem if we do the amazing British thing that we always do – our researchers, inventors, companies , create the solution to the problems of the 21st century.”

Sunak mentioned his career in business and said he thinks innovation will “solve this problem”.

READ MORE: Scotland’s temperature topped 35C on hottest day ever, Met Office says

Meanwhile, Truss said she was “an environmentalist before it was fashionable”.

She added: “I was a teenage eco-warrior campaigning against the damage to the O-zone layer, and I always thought we should save our resources.

“I’m naturally a thrifty person, I like to save money, and that also helps the environment, so it’s about using less, wasting less, especially food waste, which I think, is a huge problem in this country.

“But also the innovation that we need to get the new technology that can help us do things better, whether it’s electric vehicles, whether it’s insulating our homes, we can all do it.”

Truss reiterated her bid to lift the green energy tax and said she would seek “better ways to meet our net zero commitments.”

Sunak and Truss were only asked once about the climate

Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer posted his reaction on Twitter, writing: ‘I’m so glad our planetary life support blackout lasted two minutes based on a premise originally written by lobbyists from the fuel.”

Journalist Sam Freedman said, “It’s a comically stupid debate. No useful debate on a serious political issue.”

Iain Docherty, senior scholar at the University of Stirling, added: “We’ve gone from the most empty section on climate change with offensively superficial responses to earrings. Sorry @BBCNews, this is all a shame # BBCOurNextPM.”

The review continued as another viewer said, “DIY earrings while Surrey burns! Totally superficial section on climate change…”

The two candidates are expected to face off again tomorrow on TalkTV.

The BBC has been contacted for comment.