The Prime Minister warned of a backlash against the old plan, challenging his critics to justify why families should pay up to £15,000 “to do things that are not necessary to get to net zero”.
“The risk here, for those of us who care about getting to net zero emissions, like me, is simple: if we continue down this path, we risk losing the consent of the British people,” he said.
“And the resulting backlash would not just be against specific policies but against the broader mission itself, meaning we may never reach our goal.
Sunak said he remains committed to the goal – signed into law – of the UK becoming a “net zero” carbon emitter by 2050 to help tackle climate change.
While he emphasized that emissions reduction targets on the path to that goal, which are also written into law, will be maintained and achieved, he announced a series of high-profile policy changes to help achieve net zero emissions.
The sale of new petrol and diesel cars was due to be banned in 2030, but Sunak pushed that date back to 2035, the same date chosen by the European Union.
The sale of new oil boilers was due to be banned in 2026, a deadline that has now been pushed back to 2035.
The sale of new gas boilers will still be banned in 2035.
However, a new exemption will be created for homes where heat pumps would be ineffective, meaning around one in five households will still be able to buy a new oil and gas boiler even after 2035. It is unclear how this will be done. will deliver.
To encourage people to continue installing heat pumps where they can, the Government’s cash grant will increase from £5,000 to £7,500. It will not be necessary to refund it.
As well as ruling out a number of other proposals suggested by climate change advisers, such as a meat tax, Sunak promised that “comprehensive new reforms to energy infrastructure” were coming, including measures to speed up the time it takes to connect to the grid. national. Grid.