Sunak waters down Britains climate targets – Portal UK

Sunak waters down Britain’s climate targets – Portal UK

  • Sunak presents ‘proportionate’ climate plan
  • Cuts targets on cars, heaters and insulation
  • Companies are concerned about changing goals

LONDON, Sept 20 (Portal) – Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday weakened Britain’s commitments to tackle climate change and postponed targets for switching cars and home heating to maintain the British people’s support for the transition to net zero.

Sunak said his government remained committed to its legally binding target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, but he said the government could afford to slow its progress because it was already “so far ahead of any other country in the world.” ” be.

To reduce what he called “unacceptable costs” for British households, he postponed a ban on new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 to 2035, accelerated the switch from gas boilers to heat pumps in homes and said he would not force any household to do so improve their insulation.

Sunak said he was forced to change policy because previous governments set net zero targets too quickly without securing public support.

“If we continue down this path we risk losing the British people and the resulting backlash would be directed not just against specific policies but against the wider mission itself,” he told a news conference.

Reports that Sunak should roll back some of the country’s net-zero policies have drawn scorn from environmental campaigners and companies that make everything from cars to solar panels to electric vehicle charging stations and electricity.

Lisa Brankin, the chair of Ford UK, was harsh on the change to the 2030 electric car target: “Our business needs three things from the UK government: ambition, commitment and consistency. Easing it in 2030 would undermine all three things.”

Businesses and environmental activists said the historic decarbonization of the economy was an opportunity to boost investment and economic growth and create good-paying jobs, including in former industrial cities.

But with a national election expected next year, Sunak appears to be betting that rolling back some green measures will win over voters struggling with stubbornly high inflation and stagnant economic growth.

Writing by Kate Holton; additional reporting by Elizabeth Piper, Kylie MacLellan, Suban Abdulla, William James, Susanna Twidale, Muvija M, Nick Carey, Sachin Ravikumar, Sarah Young, Gloria Dickie; Editing by Gareth Jones, Kirsten Donovan

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William leads the UK Breaking News team, ensuring Portal is first to report on key developments in political, economic and general news. He previously spent almost a decade as a British political correspondent in Westminster and before that covered financial markets during the Eurozone debt crisis.