September 20, 2023 Responds To Sunak’s Bonfire on Climate Pledges

London, UK – Today, the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will announce a rollback on UK climate policy. In a political maneuver designed to engage the right-wing of the conservative party, Sunak will suggest that the UK needs to put profit before people – by putting the brakes on an already slow transition towards a cleaner, greener, more equitable energy system.

This decision, leaked to the media on Tuesday night, has outraged everyone from climate activists to housing consortiums and health specialists to energy organisations. More than 400 organisations have already presented a unified demand to maintain and improve the UK’s existing climate policies in response.

This news comes on the same day that the Prime Minister failed to show up to the climate summit organised by the UN General Assembly in New York – where world leaders are gathered to negotiate next steps for tackling the climate crisis ahead of COP28 in the United Arab Emirates this November.

Nicolò Wojewoda: Europe Regional Director

“Despite requests from the UK government, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been left off the speakers list at today’s UN Climate Ambition Summit. Sunak’s plans to water down Net-Zero pledges, along with his track record on climate action, easily explains why. At a time when the UK should be providing global leadership in transitioning off fossil fuels, especially in recognition of the impact its historical emissions have had in bringing about the climate crisis, the UK government is considering backtracking on already insufficient commitments.”

Kennedy Walker: UK Organiser

“We have the technology, policies and public support in the UK to hit and even go beyond the net zero targets  – industries like wind and solar are well established, we have a generation of innovators and training schemes at the ready to deliver green jobs; businesses, councils and communities are already working on this – the government needs to double down now not U-turn.

It’s false to say that moving towards net zero targets will increase pressure on people’s wallets as Sunak, Braverman and others claim. In reality, it can lower costs for example bringing in energy saving measures, insulating houses and securing reliable clean energy produced within the UK.

We have the opportunity to show what a transition to a greener economy that works for people and the planet can look like, we need to hold leadership to account to make sure it happens and they follow through on their own promises.”

Notes to Editor

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Some of the proposals that Sunak is likely to deliver include:

  • Delay the off-gas-grid fossil fuel ban until 2035 and relax the requirement from 100% to 80% of households
  • Relax the gas boiler phase-out target in 2035
  • No new energy efficiency regulations on homes