Rishi Sunak is poised to ditch the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars as he scales back costly green pledges. The Mail has more.
In a dramatic policy shift, he is set to delay the switch to electric vehicles and slow the phasing-out of gas boilers.
Pushing back the petrol and diesel ban from 2030 to 2035 would be a victory for the Mail’s campaign to rethink the deadline.
The Prime Minister will set out the changes in a speech in which he will recommit to hitting ‘Net Zero’ carbon emissions by 2050, a target enshrined in law.
But he will argue that the goal can be met with a more “pragmatic” approach that does not force onerous changes on the public.
Ministers believe the plan could help transform Tory fortunes and assist households struggling with the high cost of living.
Last night Mr. Sunak said “Governments of all stripes have not been honest about costs and trade-offs”, adding: “Instead they have taken the easy way out, saying we can have it all.
“This realism doesn’t mean losing our ambition or abandoning our commitments. Far from it. I am proud that Britain is leading the world on climate change. We are committed to Net Zero by 2050 and the agreements we have made internationally – but doing so in a better, more proportionate way.
“Our politics must again put the long-term interests of our country before the short-term political needs of the moment.”
The Prime Minister confirmed that he had planned a speech in which he is expected to point out the U.K. is already a world leader in cutting emissions and argue that further changes must be “realistic and pragmatic”.
A step in the right direction. But when will the Government follow the EU in watering down the internal combustion engine ban by allowing cars which can take synthetic fuels? That’s got to be next. It is clearly untenable for affordable internal combustion vehicles to be available on the continent but not in the U.K.
What we really need of course is for the Government to abandon the whole shebang, as the prospect of any future ban is affecting production and prices already. But more realistic is an erosion of the commitments as the true costs become clearer to the public.
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: Ross Clark has more details on the expected changes in the Spectator:
The proposed ban on new petrol and diesel cars will be put back by five years to 2035, which would bring Britain in line with the EU. The ban on new oil-fired boilers will be put back from 2026 to 2035, thus relieving the Conservatives of the prospect of mass grumbling in one of their natural constituencies, rural areas. Even in 2035, it seems, the target will be to reduce installations only by 80%, in recognition that many homes are difficult to bring up to the insulation standards required for heat pumps to work effectively. The same principle will apparently be applied to gas boilers, new installations of which were previously on line to be banned entirely from 2035.
In addition, the Prime Minister is expected to announce that there will be no new taxes to discourage flying, and that recycling schemes involving multiple bins and other receptacles will fall out of favour. Requirements for rented houses to achieve standards on Energy Performance Certificate Ratings will also be relaxed – landlords had been threatened with large fines if they failed to comply.
Stop Press 2: Sign the petition against the introduction of 20mph speed limits in Wales here.
Stop Press 3: Watch an amusing video of a mobility scooter overtaking cars in one of Wales’s 20mph zones.