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A Comprehensive Analysis: Sunak’s Reversal on Fossil Fuel Vehicle Ban Uncovers Divisions in Achieving Net Zero Emissions

Nigel Farage, Tory MPs, and Peers have expressed their opinions on the recent announcement by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government to extend the deadline for banning gas and petrol-powered cars to 2035. This decision has sparked a debate among politicians and businesses regarding the implications of this U-turn. Former MEP Nigel Farage described the announcement as “a much-needed outbreak of commonsense” and believes it will be popular in the country. He suggested that MPs who disagree with the decision should join the Greens. Vice-chair of the Net Zero all-party parliamentary group, Baroness Altmann, expressed her hope that the UK’s leadership in addressing climate change will continue. She commended the government for its efforts in achieving net-zero emissions and stressed the importance of providing businesses with certainty regarding future changes. Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson also called for businesses to have certainty about net-zero commitments. Some Conservative MPs, including Miriam Cates and Danny Kruger, expressed support for the decision to postpone the ban, as they believe it balances efforts to address climate change with economic circumstances. They argue that the original ban would have disproportionately affected people who rely on cars for their daily activities and made electric vehicles financially inaccessible. Howard Cox, founder of FairFuelUK, welcomed the decision but questioned why it took the government so long. He warned that the new deadline may be short-lived if Labour comes to power. Harry Wilkinson of the thinktank Net Zero Watch viewed the decision as a step in the right direction but still considered it a small one. He argued that banning essential products like cars and gas boilers can harm the public. Ford issued a warning, stating that if the ban is delayed, it could face capacity issues in supplying popular cars like the Focus.

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