UK’s U-turn on key green targets infographic
Graphic shows key changes in Britain’s climate targets.


UK Prime Minister Sunak announces U-turn on key green targets

By Jordi Bou

September 21, 2023 - The UK will water down policies aimed at achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and instead pursue a “pragmatic” approach to hitting the target, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced.

Framing the changes as “pragmatic and proportionate”, the prime minister has unpicked several of Boris Johnson's key policies, many of them launched when Sunak was serving as chancellor.

The prime minister pushed back a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 to 2035 in a delay that is strongly opposed by some carmakers.

Sunak also announced an easing of energy efficiency targets for rental properties and backtracked on plans to make homeowners replace gas boilers with heat pumps.

The move comes amid growing concern over the potential financial cost of the government’s net zero pledge.

Sunak’s rethink has prompted fierce criticism from opposition lawmakers, environmental campaigners, car industry and some Conservative MPs.

PUBLISHED: 21/09/2023; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images