UK carmakers have responded to reports that Prime Minister Sunak will ease green policies

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks to the media during his visit to the Shell St Fergus gas plant in Peterhead on July 31, 2023 in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

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LONDON – UK industry bodies and carmakers on Wednesday criticized British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, amid reports that he is preparing to water down several key net-zero climate pledges.

BBC mentioned Moves could include postponing the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars, currently due to be implemented by 2030, and the ban on new gas boilers due to be imposed in 2035.

Sunak is expected to deliver a speech on the topic at 4:30pm on Wednesday.

A press representative for the Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment on the BBC report.

Lisa Brankin, head of Ford UK – did just that committed To make the UK a manufacturing hub for electric vehicle components in Europe – he said the 2030 target was a “vital catalyst for Ford’s acceleration towards a cleaner future”.

“Our work needs three things from the UK government: ambition, commitment and consistency,” Brankin said. “Diluting in 2030 would undermine these three things.”

“We need to focus policies on boosting the electric vehicle market in the short term and supporting consumers amid strong headwinds: infrastructure is still immature, tariffs loom, and costs of living are high.”

The target, which covers sales of petrol and diesel cars, was announced in 2020, as part of a wider target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Stellantis, which opened its first electric-only car manufacturing plant in the UK earlier this month, also called for clarity.

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“For too many years, politicians in governments of all stripes have not been honest about the costs and trade-offs. Instead, they have taken the easy way out, saying we can have it all,” Sunak said in a statement on Tuesday.

He added, “This realism does not mean losing our ambition or abandoning our commitments. On the contrary. I am proud that Britain is leading the world regarding climate change.”

“No leak will stop me from starting the process of telling the country how and why we need change,” Sunak said.

He also said he remains committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said the car industry needed the government to provide “a clear and consistent message, attractive incentives and charging infrastructure that gives confidence rather than anxiety”.

Ministers suggested a few months ago that the government was considering relaxing green policies, which it felt could come at an upfront cost to households.

The ruling Conservative Party is lagging behind its rival, the Labor Party, in opinion polls ahead of national elections expected next year.

Many members of Sunak’s party oppose any weakening of the green targets, with MP Chris Skidmore on Tuesday telling the BBC that this was “probably the biggest mistake he has made”. [Sunak’s]Prime Minister so far.

However, Interior Minister Suella Braverman insisted Wednesday, in televised comments, that the prime minister’s approach to green policies was “pragmatic.”

The BBC report notes that other changes could include committing to no new regulations for energy efficiency in homes and no new taxes to discourage flying.

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In the long term, weakening the UK’s climate policies “could harm economic growth by undermining domestic and external investment in a range of sectors that develop and deploy clean technologies, such as heat pumps and electric cars. It could make UK households poorer.” “And more affected.” “It’s colder because it will still be highly exposed to volatile fossil fuel prices,” said Bob Ward, director of policy and communications at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and Environment Research.

Criticism also came from the energy industry, with Chris Hewitt, head of the UK Solar Trade Association, saying the moves would amount to “economic miscalculation of historic proportions”, as companies in the US, China, EU and India race to lead the world. The fields of renewable energy and electric cars.

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