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.
In a speech from Downing Street on Wednesday, Mr. Sunak said moving too fast on green policies “risks losing the consent of the British people”.
Among the key changes announced were:
- A five-year delay in the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, meaning a requirement for all new cars to be “zero emission” will not come into force until 2035
- A nine-year delay in the ban on new fossil fuel heating for off-gas-grid homes to 2035.
- Raising the Boiler Upgrade Grant by 50% to £7,500 to help households who want to replace their gas boilers.
- The ban on the sale of new gas boilers in 2035 remains, but the government will introduce new exemptions for poorer households.
- Scrapping the requirement on landlords to ensure all rental properties had an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of grade C or higher, from 2025.
The announcement was brought forward after plans to change the proposals were revealed by the BBC.