• Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Rishi Sunak rolls back on climate commitments

ByAnna Aprin

Oct 7, 2023
People sat in a line at a table with a man speaking.

On Wednesday 20 September, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a rollback on several key green targets which has split opinion within the Scottish Government. 

The change in policy includes a delay to the deadline for phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 to 2035 and the installation of new domestic gas boilers from 2026- 2035. 

Offering a justification for the U-turn, Sunak stated the change in policy would prevent the cost burden for households. 

Sunak assured however, that this would not mean a loss of ambition on the climate project. 

Whilst Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross backed Sunak’s decision, the rollback divided the Scottish Parliament. 

Patrick Harvie, co-leader of the Scottish Greens, cautioned the effect it would have on Scotland. 

Read More: The University of Edinburgh’s climate action plan

Introduced under the Climate Act of 2019, Scotland has a net zero greenhouse target by 2045. 

The UK Government has established the same target for 2050. 

Speaking on BBC Scotland Harvie said he was “profoundly worried” about this announcement, and “deplored the lack of communication with the Scottish and the Welsh government”. 

Maurice Golden, Scottish Conservative MSP, also condemned the announcement, describing it as “regressive”. 

He added that not only does the announcement annoy green lobbies but also businesses that were already in the process of preparing for existing net zero deadlines. 

Golden also cautioned that division over this issue could become the main focus with people forgetting the need for climate change initiative.

Chancellor of Exchequer Rishi Sunak Spring Statement” by UK Prime Minister is licensed under CC BY 2.0.