THE sound of guitars and singing drifts along a corridor, towards the heavy wooden front door of Alington House community centre in the shadow of Durham Cathedral.

Lyrics– including 'earth is heating' and 'Arctic's melting' – are sang to the tune of London's Burning by the Durham Climate Choir, which is at the venue to help launch The Green Party's general election campaign in County Durham.

The party has four candidates standing in the county who say every vote they get on December 12 will increase the party's influence on the Government.

Freelance ecologist Jonathan Elmer, who is contesting the Durham City seat and has campaigned against the proposed Durham ring road and building on greenbelt, said: "We have known about climate change for quite some time. I remember studying it an uni in the late 1980s but it has taken about 30 years to get to the point people are seeing it for the crisis it is.

"The Green Party wants people to take a proportionate response to this crisis."

He said the party's proposal to spend £100bn a year for a decade was both realistic and necessary.

"We will increase spending to decarbonise every activity– transport, housing, energy generation," he added.

David Sewell, standing in North West Durham, said the party has strong policies on education which would make education free and freely available to everyone, at all points of their lifetime.

He said it was important for people to develop critical thinking skills and keep up with rapidly changing technology in a time when few people have one job for a lifetime.

Paediatrican and Sedgefield hopeful John Furness said: "The Green Party is ready to deliver the most ambitious programme for climate action and social justice anywhere in the world."

He said mental and physical health is about housing, education, environment, exercise and employment as well as the NHS.

Retired chartered engineer Derek Morse, challenging in North Durham, said: "To win World War Two we invested to protest the future of our country. In setting up the NHS we invested to protect the future of our people. Now, as we prepare for the next century ahead, we will invest to protect the future of our planet."

He insisted that the Green New Deal– decarbonising every sector of the economy to make Britain net zero carbon by 2030– could bring down emissions and improve the environment whilst raising the quality of life for ordinary people across Britain.

He added: "It means training and reskilling and apprenticeships to create hundreds of thousands of low carbon jobs so that we can lift people out of poverty while transforming our economy."

The candidates in the four constituencies are: City of Durham: Jonathan Elmer (Green), Mary Kelly Foy (Lab), Amanda Jayne Hopgood (Lib Dem), William Harvey Morgan (Cons)and Lesley Anne Wright (Brexit). North Durham: Kevan David Jones (Lab), Craig Martin (Lib Dem), Derek Anthony Morse (Green), Ed Parson (Cons), Ken Rollings (Ind) and Peter Telford (Brexit). North West Durham: Richard John Holden (Cons), David Alexander Stephen Lindsay (Ind), Michael Keith Peacock (Lib Dem), Laura Pidcock (Lab), David Rogers Sewell (Green), Watts Stelling (Ind) and John Wolstenholme, Brexit Party. Sedgefield: David Richard Bull (Brexit), John Charles Furness (Green), Paul Howell (Cons), Michael Anthony Joyce (Ind), Dawn Elizabeth Welsh (Lib Dem) and Philip Wilson (Lab).