Rishi Sunak faces backlash over step back from Net Zero promises
Labour has already committed to reintroducing the ban on petrol and diesel cars by 2030, granting Rishi Sunak’s wish to create clear blue water between them and the Tories on the environment.
Mr Sunak’s highly anticipated speech this afternoon confirmed reports that the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be pushed back by five years, to 2035.
The Prime Minister argued this was much more in line with other European countries and progressive American states.
He also said the country doesn’t have enough infrastructure, and could cost families tens of thousands when buying a new car, which is unfair during a cost of living crisis.
Speaking shortly after the speech, Labour’s shadow Environment Secretary Steve Reed confirmed Labour would reverse Mr Sunak’s change, and reintroduce the 2030 deadline.
READ MORE: Sunak hits back at Tory rebels in net zero row and outlines green plans
His confirmation came despite a snap YouGov poll this afternoon showing majority support for Mr Sunak’s decision to push the deadline back.
The poll revealed that 50 percent of Brits either strongly or somewhat support the policy, compared to just 34 percent who back the 2030 deadline.
Speaking on the BBC, Labour’s Steve Reed confirmed he will revert the ban to 2030.
“Yes, because industry has been gearing up towards 2030 as the date by which you can no longer buy a brand new petrol vehicle”.
“You could keep the car that you’ve got if it’s petrol, you don’t have to get rid of that, this is about the sale of new vehicles and if we still allow petrol vehicles to be sold at that point we’re not going to hit our net zero targets for the 2030s.
“That means we’re going to miss our targets for 2050 by which we’re supposed to have a fully carbon free economy”.
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Responding to Labour’s confirmation, a Conservative spokesperson said Labour isn’t being clear with the country, unlike the PM who understands tradeoffs.
“Labour aren’t being clear with the country on the upfront costs and practicalities of introducing electric cars.
“The Prime Minister understands the trade offs households face. That’s why he’s set out a fair plan that protects families budgets and consumer choice.
“Starmer should let families and firms decide what’s right for them.”
The same snap YouGov poll showed 44 percent of Brits back the Government’s move to delay or drop some climate commitments.
38 percent of the public say the Government should keep its current climate plans and its Net Zero by 2050 commitment.
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