British PM Rishi Sunak rolls back key climate measures – by Paul Waldie (Globe and Mail – September 21, 2023)

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced a major reversal of his government’s environmental policies while promising that Britain will still meet its target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. In a speech Wednesday in Downing Street, Mr. Sunak said Britain had come further than most countries in addressing climate change but a more pragmatic approach is now needed.

“We seem to have defaulted to an approach which will impose unacceptable costs on hard-working British families – costs that no one was ever really told about and which may not actually be necessary to deliver the emissions reduction that we need,” he said.

He announced a series of rollbacks on climate measures, including deferring the ban on the sale of new gasoline- and diesel-powered cars to 2035 from 2030. He said the extra time was needed for the country to fully prepare for electric vehicles.

He also extended the deadline for homeowners to replace their oil-fired boilers with heat pumps by nine years, to 2035, and introduced an exemption for millions of low-income families.

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