British Queen celebrates


In response to leaks suggesting that Rishi Sunak plans to weaken several of the UK's green policies, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has implored him not to waver in the

country's climate commitments. As a result of these revelations, Johnson has expedited his speech on the net-zero strategy, defending the proposed policy shifts as a means to achieve climate goals in a "more balanced manner."

Johnson, Sunak's predecessor as Prime Minister, cautioned against losing ambition in this critical area and emphasized the importance of maintaining the UK's commitment to environmental sustainability. Sunak is expected to unveil his plans at 16:30 BST, with potential changes such as postponing the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 to 2035.

This move, if implemented, would signify a significant departure from the Conservative Party's previous stance on net-zero policies and potentially create a division with the Labour Party. Other policies from Johnson's tenure that Sunak is considering modifying include the reduction in the use of gas boilers, with only 80% to be phased out by 2035. Additionally, a delay in the ban on off-grid boilers from 2026 to 2035 is being considered, with the aim of phasing out 80% of them by that date. Sunak is also contemplating the exclusion of new energy efficiency regulations for homes owned by landlords and homeowners.

In anticipation of Sunak's speech, Johnson stressed the importance of providing businesses that have invested in the "green Industrial Revolution" with certainty regarding the UK's climate emission reduction plans. Johnson argued that green technologies would generate numerous high-quality jobs and improve the economy, aligning with the government's objective of "levelling up" the UK's economy outside of London.

He stated, "Business and industry, such as motor manufacturing, are rightly making vast investments in these new technologies. It is those investments that will produce a low carbon future - at lower costs for British families. It is crucial that we give those businesses confidence that the government is still committed to Net Zero and can see the way ahead. We cannot afford to falter now or in any way lose our ambition for this country."

However, following the leak of the news about his speech, Sunak emphasized the need for honesty about costs and trade-offs in government decisions. He clarified that this realism doesn't entail losing ambition or renouncing commitments and reaffirmed the government's commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

While the New Conservatives group, composed of recently elected MPs, praised Sunak's "common sense" approach, one of Johnson's former ministers, Tory MP Sir Simon Clarke, expressed concern that the potential changes felt like an unnecessary misstep and a misreading of the British public's stance on the issue.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle criticized Johnson for scheduling his speech during the Commons' recess period, stating, "This is not the way to do business. Ministers are answerable to MPs - we do not have a presidential system here." The Commons is set to reconvene on 16 October following the break for party conferences. Photo by EU2017EE Estonian Presidency, Wikimedia commons.