PM recommits UK to Net Zero by 2050 and pledges a “fairer” path to achieving target to ease the financial burden on British families

20 Sep 2023 07:16 PM

UK’s over-delivery on reducing emissions provides space to take a more pragmatic, proportionate, and realistic approach to reaching net zero.

  • UK’s over-delivery on reducing emissions provides space to take a more pragmatic, proportionate, and realistic approach to reaching net zero, while maintaining all our international commitments.

  • Revised plans will ease the burden on working people, as the Prime Minister forges a credible, transparent path to net zero that maintains public consent.

  • Ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars will be moved back to 2035 and new policies forcing landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties will be scrapped.

  • The ban on new fossil fuel boilers for certain households will be delayed while cash grants for boiler upgrade schemes will increase by 50% to £7,500 for those who want to transition now.

  • Prime Minister confirms worrying proposals such as seven recycling bins and taxes on meat and flying will never happen on his watch.

The Prime Minister vows to take forward a pragmatic, proportionate and realistic path to reach net zero by 2050 today (Wednesday 20 September), reducing costs on British families while still meeting international commitments.

The UK has set the most ambitious target to reduce carbon emissions by 68% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels – and is the only major economy to have set a target of 77% for 2035.  

This follows progress over the past decades to cut emissions faster than any other G7 country, with the UK having already slashed emissions by 48%, compared to 41% in Germany, 23% in France and no change at all in the United States. The UK has even surpassed the targets most countries have set for 2030, such as Australia, Canada, Japan and the US, and overdelivered on all its previous targets to date.

Thanks to this progress already made, reaching the UK’s 2030 and 2035 targets do not have to come at the expense of British citizens who are continuing to face higher costs of living – particularly as the UK’sshare of global emissions is less than 1%.

This means some measures that were planned are no longer needed to fulfil them.

The Prime Minister has made clear that the plans to meet net zero will only succeed if public support is maintained or we risk losing the agenda altogether, unable to meet our goals.

The UK will remain the country with the most ambitious, stringent de-carbonisation targets in the world even after these changes are made.

Under revised plans, the Government will:

These changes will not require the UK to change or abandon its upcoming emissions targets and the Prime Minister is unequivocal that we’ll meet our international agreements including the critical promises in Paris and Glasgow to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

This country is proud to be a world leader in reaching Net Zero by 2050. But we simply won’t achieve it unless we change.

We’ll now have a more pragmatic, proportionate, and realistic approach that eases the burdens on families.

All while doubling down on the new green industries of the future. In a democracy, that’s the only realistic path to Net Zero

We are going to change the way our politics works. We are going to make different decisions. We will not take the easy way out.

There will be resistance – and we will meet it. Because I am determined to change our country and build a better future for our children. Nothing less is acceptable.

Therefore, the Prime Minister has pledged to ensure that Parliament gives full scrutiny to all future measures that might be needed to fulfil the Carbon Budget. This means more accountability from elected representatives and more transparency for the British public on how we plan to reach net zero.

Underpinning our net zero ambitions is the commitment to boosting energy security and protecting nature. Today, the Prime Minister announced:

The Chancellor and Energy Security Secretary will bring forward comprehensive new reforms in due course.