VIEWERS have been left fuming at the BBC’s handling of questions on climate change during Monday's debate between Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak. 

The two prime minsterial candidates faced questions on a wide range of topics from Russia's war in Ukraine, to the economy, tax, their stance on China, all the way to Truss's earings. 

However, many viewers on social media made it clear they felt there was not enough time given to issues around climate change, following record-breaking temperatures as the UK hit 40c for the first time last week. 

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

Organisations and individuals including Greenpeace UK, WWF, Christian Aid, the Climate Coalition and naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham have signed a letter to the BBC complaining that it was “unacceptable” to frame the climate crisis as an issue solely for individuals, not for Government, to tackle.

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

Sunak said that he takes his advice from his daughters, and that their first piece of advice is "reducing energy usage through things like better energy efficiency".

He added: "The benefit of that is actually saves lots of money as well, which is fantastic, and that's why the Government should do more on that.

"The second one is recycling, and that is the thing that in our house, we are obsessive about. I know it's a pain, you need lots of bins, but it is something that is very good for the environment.

"And I think the third thing I would say is we've got to focus on innovation, because we're going to solve this problem if we’re doing the amazing British thing that we always do - our researchers, inventors, companies, creating the solution to the problems of the 21st century."

Sunak mentioned his business career and said that he believes innovation will "solve this problem". 

READ MORE: Scotland's temperature broke 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 damage to the O-zone layer, and I've always taken the view that we should save our resources.

"I'm naturally a thrifty person, I like saving money, and it also helps the environment so it's about using less, wasting less, particularly food waste, which I think is a massive problem in this country.

"But also the innovation that we need to get the new technology that can help us do things better, whether that's electric vehicles, whether that's insulation in our homes, we can all act."

Truss reiterated her bid to lift the green energy levy and said she would look for "better ways to deliver our net-zero commitments". 

The National: Sunak and Truss were only quizzed on the climate onceSunak and Truss were only quizzed on the climate once

Max Wakefield, director of campaigns at climate charity Possible, one of the signatories of the letter, said: “In 2019 Possible campaigned for the televised leaders’ election climate debate because broadcasters were ignoring the severity of the climate crisis.

“Three years later, little has changed. Instead of asking Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss how they would patch the gaping holes in their climate plans, the BBC posed a question on what individuals can do at home.

Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer posted his reaction on Twitter, writing: “So glad the breakdown of our planetary life support system got a whole two minutes based on a premise originally written by fuel lobbyists.”

Journalist Sam Freedman said: "This is a comically stupid debate. No useful debate about any serious policy issue."

Iain Docherty, a senior academic at Stirling University, added: "We’ve moved from the most vacuous section on climate change with offensively superficial answers to the earrings. Sorry @BBCNews this whole thing is a disgrace #BBCOurNextPM."

The criticism continued as another viewer said: "Tinkering about earrings while Surrey burns! Totally superficial section on climate change … "

Both candidates are set to go head to head once again tomorrow on TalkTV. 

The BBC have been contacted for comment.