Rishi Sunak has delayed a ban on new petrol and diesel cars in a major change to the government’s approach to achieving net zero by 2050.
The prime minister announced exemptions and delays to several key green policies, alongside a 50% increase in cash incentives to replace gas boilers.
The government could not impose “unacceptable costs” linked to reducing emissions on British families, he said.
It’s prompted fierce criticism from the opposition and some industry bosses.
Mr Sunak also faced attacks from his own party, but many Conservative MPs came out in favour of the new direction, alongside some in the car industry.
The changes come as Mr Sunak seeks to create dividing lines with opposition parties ahead of a general election, expected next year.
Framing the changes as “pragmatic and proportionate”, the prime minister has unpicked several of Boris Johnson’s key policies, many of them launched when Mr Sunak was serving as chancellor.
And the political choices outlined in his speech preview more announcements later this autumn, as Mr Sunak promised he would set out “a series of long term decisions”. (BBC)