Sunak breaks the Net Zero consensus

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By Paul Homewood

London, 20 September – Net Zero Watch has welcomed reports that the government is planning to delay and water down some of its Net Zero targets.

According to news reports, Rishi Sunak is set to delay a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 to 2035 amid economic hardship for millions of families. The Prime Minister is also considering watering down the ban on gas boilers in homes in order to cut costs for consumers.
Net Zero Watch has long warned that current Net Zero plans are astronomically costly, technologically impossible and politically unsustainable.

As European governments have begun to retreat from their own Net Zero plans, it was just a question of time before the UK, which has even more utopian targets, had to make a U-turn, and return to the path of economic and technological realism.
The Home Secretary’s statement that the UK ‘is not going to save the planet by bankrupting the British people’ is a welcome acknowledgment of Net Zero Watch’s warnings that current Net Zero plans are economically self-destructive and politically irrational.

If the reported changes turn out to be true, they could represent a significant first move towards a complete reassessment of the unilateral Net Zero targets embedded in the Climate Change Act.
There has been a noisy backlash from green Conservatives and big corporations, arguing that delaying the ban on petrol and diesel vehicles reduces business certainty. This suggests that they have limited confidence that people will purchase EVs without an element of state coercion.

Net Zero Watch hopes that in the coming days the Prime Minister will stick to his guns.

For me, it’s a no-brainer for the PM.

Push back these bans by 5 years or more, and force the inevitable next Labour government to make the unpopular decision to revert to the original plans.

If they do, they will quickly lose a lot of support.