Rishi Sunak Waters Down Net Zero Pledges

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The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s new approach to Net Zero


By Paul Homewood

So he did it!

Net Zero targets are to be watered down, as long as the Cabinet approves it.

The key points are:

  • Petrol/diesel ban pushed back to 2035
  • Transition to heat pumps switch will be forced only when buying a new boiler, and from 2035.
  • Upcoming property energy efficiency requirements scrapped.
  • No ban on oil and gas in the North Sea.

    There is of course loads of the usual waffle about green jobs, extreme weather and so on. That was inevitable, given the political outlook.

    But the PM has at last recognised the huge costs to ordinary people, and has decided to go for their vote.

    Watch from about 5 mins in. He emphasises that we have already cut emissions more than most, that we only account for 1% of global emissions, that current plans are far too costly, and that the public have never been given a choice.

    I was particularly impressed with his comments about the 5-year carbon budgets. The last apparently had just 17 minutes debate in the Commons, before being voted through without any consideration of the costs. He now wants to see Parliament consider how such budgets can be met in future.

    It’s a small beginning, and is probably no more than a bit of political manoeuvring, but it’s a sign of how things might develop after the next election.

    As far as I know, there are no legal obstacles to what Sunak has laid out – that is, I don’t believe they need any vote in Parliament. There are, however, some threats from treacherous Tory MPs, who may bring down the government with a vote of confidence.

    As with Brexit, such traitors may get a shock if they go against the will of the people. In any event, the Tories would go into an election with a populist agenda, which is probably Sunak’s plan, after the ULEZ revolt against Labour in Uxbridge.

    The most likely scenario is that Labour will win the next election whenever it is held, but will then have to take the blame for reintroducing unpopular policies. This could open the door to real change in the election after that.