Senior members of the Labour Party and a former Tory prime minister have joined in questioning Mr. Sunak’s u-turn on green policy as the shift faces backlash.
Labour has pledged to undo Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s recent policy changes on climate initiatives if they secure victory at the next general election.
Yesterday, the party committed to reinstating the 2030 deadline for the ban on new petrol and diesel car sales if they secure victory in the next election, according to Steve Reed, the shadow environment secretary.
Mr. Sunak has drawn scrutiny for his decision to backtrack on green commitments, designed to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The alterations include postponing the ban on new petrol and diesel cars until 2035, scaling back the plan to phase out gas boilers by 2035, and eliminating the requirement for energy efficiency upgrades to homes.
Labour remains committed to phasing out internal combustion engine vehicles by 2030 and has signalled a sharp disagreement with some of Mr. Sunak’s key policy changes.
The commitment sets the stage for a significant policy divide between the two major parties during the election campaign.
Labour to Go ‘Toe to Toe’ With Tories
Speaking at an event yesterday, Ed Miliband, the shadow secretary of state for energy security in the Labour Party, expressed his eagerness to go “toe to toe” in debate with the Tories on net-zero policies during the upcoming cycle.
The Labour Party, currently leading significantly in opinion polls over Mr. Sunak’s Conservative Party, criticised the weakening of environmental commitments, asserting that it would result in long-term costs for the public.
Sir Keir Starmer’s outfit also accused the prime minister of forfeiting the potential for job growth associated with the pursuit of net-zero goals. Similar criticisms have been voiced by prominent figures within the Conservative Party, including former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
However, Sir Keir did not directly address this announcement himself, or openly critique the prime minister’s speech. Instead, he shared a message via X (formerly Twitter) emphasising the need for leadership to secure Britain’s future and promote economic growth.
Speaking to the BBC yesterday, Mr. Reed expressed concerns over the potential delay of the 2030 ban on internal combustion engine vehicles, stating that car manufacturers have been preparing for this transition by shifting their production focus toward electric vehicles.
He cautioned that such a delay could discourage the essential inward investment required to boost the sector and argued that it would make “everybody a loser.”
Mr. Reed said: “If we still allow petrol vehicles to be sold at that point we’re not going to hit our net zero targets for the 2030s.
“That means we