Rishi Sunak slams eco 'diktat' as he slashes climate policies - including FOUR you never knew existed

Rishi Sunak slams eco 'diktat' as he slashes climate policies - including FOUR you never knew existed

Rishi Sunak has announced a major change to climate policy, slamming the former approach for being an eco 'diktat'.

Rishi Sunak slams eco 'diktat' as he slashes climate policies - including FOUR you never knew existed
Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke


Published: 20/09/2023

- 09:03

Updated: 21/09/2023

- 08:20

The Prime Minister said the UK is "proud to be a world leader in reaching net zero by 2015 - but we simply won't achieve it until we change".

Rishi Sunak has slammed the old approach to climate policies, describing them as an eco "diktat". He pledged to slash a whole host of policies - including four you may have never known existed.

The PM used his speech to promise to bring an end to "heavy-handed policies", including taxes on eating meat, taxes to discourage flying, being forced to sort your rubbish into seven different bins and compulsory car sharing.


But reacting after the speech, a swathe of people on social media pointed out that they werent aware any of those policies existed.

One person wrote: "Scrapping the 7 bins no one has. Those struggling with the cost of living will be jumping for joy. You have my vote.', while another added: "None of these were ACTUAL policies by Central Government."

WATCH NOW: Rishi Sunak delivers landmark climate speech

Sunak speech this afternoon saw him herald a new approach to tackling climate change, warning: "We risk losing the consent of the British people” for net zero policies.

He said the UK is "proud to be a world leader in reaching net zero by 2015 - but we simply won't achieve it until we change".

The Prime Minister said the new approach will be "more realistic" and "ease the burden" on families.

He said: "In a democracy, this is the only realistic path to net zero.

"Consent, not imposition. That's how we'll turn the challenge of net zero into the greatest opportunity and the greatest achievement of our life time."

Sunak added: "We are going to change the way our politics works."

But he ruled out holding a referendum on net zero, saying: “I think everyone’s had enough of referendums, quite frankly. But I think the principle of consent is important... We’re going to get to net zero but we’re going to do it in a fair and proportionate way.”

Asked by GB News how much money the measures would save ordinary people, Sunak said it would save families "thousands of pounds".

He announced that the Government would "ease the transition to electric vehicles", saying people will be able to buy and sell petrol and diesel cars until 2035. This is an extension from the initial deadline of 2030.

Sunak explained that it should be "you, the consumer" making the decision to switch to electric, not the Government "forcing your hand".

He also announced that the transition to heat pumps will be slowed down, allowing households until 2035 to switch to heat pumps.

Sunak described the new approach as "more pragmatic", describing it as the "only real path to net zero".

But despite the watering down of net zero policies, he promised to make the UK "the best place in the world to invest in green industries".

Addressing the public from Downing Street, Sunak said: "We do not have to be powerless. Our future does not have to be a foregone conclusion."

He asked: "Can we put the long-term interests of our country before the short-term political needs of the moment, even if it means being controversial?

"Over the coming months, I will set out a series of long-term decisions to deliver that approach."

The right-wing of the party is elated at the plans, saying the Government is "finally listening" - but many MPs have expressed serious doubts.

He had initially planned to give a speech announcing the policy changes on Friday, but has brought it forward after the plans were leaked to the media last night.

Tory MP for Bassetlaw Brendan Clarke-Smith told GB News that Sunak's proposal to water down the Government's approach to net zero "addresses the concerns" of those who think that climate policies "can be done in a more effective and fair way that can be embraced by everyone".

He said it "shows the Prime Minister is listening to what MPs and the public are both saying, not small but vocal groups with special interests", adding: "It doesn’t change our commitment to being a world leader in reducing our emissions and moving to renewable sources".

Andrea Jenkyns threw her weight behind the plan, saying the "next Conservative Party slogan" should be "No To net zero ", while Philip Davies simply added: "Rejoice!"

A source on the right wing of the party dismissed the "Tory wets" expressing doubts about the policy shift, saying it is "just common sense and realistic".

They added: "Not least as it just puts us in line with the EU.

"On the doorstep people care about the environment and our commitments. However, when they are struggling with food and gas bills, I know that they want a realistic, pragmatic and fair approach to net zero. Not least compared to other countries."

Home Secretary Suella Braverman also threw her weight behind the plans, backing the Government's plan to push back the deadline to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.

She described the original 2030 deadline as "punitive" and "arbitrary", adding: "We are not going to save the planet by bankrupting British people".

But Alok Sharma, the former COP26 President, hit out at the policies. He said: "For any party to resile from this agenda will not help economically or electorally."

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS:

Suella Braverman

Suella Braverman also threw her weight behind the plans, backing the Government's plan to push back the deadline to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars

PA

Outgoing Tory MP Chris Skidmore agreed, warning: "If this is true, the decision will cost the UK jobs, inward investment and future economic growth that could have been ours by committing to the industries of the future.

"It will potentially destabilise thousands of jobs and see investment go elsewhere.

"And ultimately, the people who will pay the price for this will be householders whose bills will remain higher as a result of inefficient fossil fuels and being dependent on volatile international fossil fuel prices."

In a statement published late last night, Sunak said: "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."

Sunak issued the unusual statement in response to what he described as a "leak" of a major speech which the Prime Minister is planning for later this week.

You may like