British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is considering weakening the UK’s commitments to net zero in a bombshell policy shift.
The UK’s gas car phase-out rollback
Sunak is preparing to present the rollbacks in a speech he’s expected to deliver in days. Downing Street isn’t denying the rollbacks.
After seeing documents, the BBC says he may be announcing such policy changes as the government pushing back the ban on the sale of new gas cars from 2030 – which was put in place by PM Boris Johnson in 2020 – to 2035.
He’s also expected to say that the phase-out of gas boiler installations by 2035 will be weakened to just 80% by the same year. There will also be no measures to encourage carpooling or no new energy efficiency regulations on homes, among other announcements.
There’s overwhelming anger about these anticipated rollbacks on Twitter (X) (and, frankly, I don’t see any support, although the BBC cites some from a couple of Tories). Conservative MP Chris Skidmore, the former chair of the UK government’s net zero review, just had this to say about the prime minister’s impending announcement:
And Green MP for Brighton Pavilion posted:
And Sunak is digging his heels in in response to the backlash:
Sunak is a member of the Conservative Party, and what’s interesting is that he’s rolling back policies not set by another political party but by former Conservative PM Boris Johnson.
PM Johnson released a 10-point plan in November 2020 for a “green industrial revolution,” and one of the 10 points was moving to EV sales only by 2030.
Britain’s Express newspaper is reporting today that Sunak’s popularity in polls has “plummeted to a record low.” Reading between the lines, these impending policy changes look like a desperate and fruitless attempt to suck up to voters after Sunak’s party has mismanaged pretty much everything since the pandemic and made life a lot harder for everyone. (If you think I’m being biased, ask any Brit – even those that vote Conservative.)
So, in an attempt to gain political favor, Sunak, who is expected to hail the UK as a world leader in net zero in his speech (yes, for real), is going to throw away the very policies that made it a world leader. Expect to see a lot of turbulence this week, as many in his own party are already rebelling against this disastrous plan.
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Author: Michelle Lewis