There will be no new policies or taxes to change people’s diets, suggested recent reports citing prime minister Rishi Sunak’s expected move to row back on some of the government’s net zero policies that impose a direct cost on consumers.
The move, expected to be announced in a major speech this Friday (22), could include delaying a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and watering down the phasing out of gas boilers. He is also expected to drop plans for new energy-efficiency targets for private rented homes after ministers considered imposing fines on landlords who failed to upgrade their properties, The Guardian reported.
Sunak said on Tuesday (19) that the government remained committed to the net zero target but planned to hit it in a “better, more proportionate” way, saying that politicians of “all the stripes” have not been honest about “costs and trade offs”. In an apparent dig at former prime minister Boris Johnson, he accused previous governments of taking “the easy way out, saying we can have it all”.
Sunak recommitted to the target of net zero emissions by 2050, insisting his government was not “losing our ambition or abandoning our commitments” on climate change. However, he appeared to defend his decision to row back on other targets by claiming he was putting “the long-term interests of our country before the short-term political needs of the moment”.
“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,” he said.
Succumbing under pressure from the Conservative right to delay or even abandon costly green policies, it is being reported that Sunak would assure that there would be no new policies to change people’s diets or encourage carpooling. He is also expected to rule out proposed recycling schemes with multiple bins, reports state.