Sunak’s green give and take

The pondering s over, and the Prime Minster has decided to shake up the race to net-zero with a mix of delayed stick and carrot.

In a speech setting out changes to the government's green commitments a raft of new timelines and incentives were announced, with an extension on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by five years, and a commitment not to move ahead on compulsory car sharing or a meat tax.

For homeowners the banning of new natural gas only boilers will move back from 2026 to 2035 and there will be an increase in grants for heat pumps (from £5,000 to £7,500). Policies that would force landlords to upgrade properties insulation and energy efficiency will now be removed.

The prime minister says he is still committed to reaching net-zero by 2050 – and that even with the dilution of some measures the UK is both ahead and will stay ahead of other major economies such as France, Germany, the US and Canada, where the measures were never as stringent.

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