Wildlife Trusts angered by UK Government's net zero inertia


The UK Government has backtracked on its Net Zero commitments, including moving back the ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars by five years to 2035 and delaying the ban on installing oil and LPG boilers.

A government statement claimed that the move will "ease the burden on working people" and that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is forging "a credible, transparent path to net zero".

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has rolled back the UK's commitments to its net zero targets, angering conservationists (UK Government).

But the loosening of green commitments has angered a wide range of organisations, from car manufacturers such as Ford to wildlife charities.

Craig Bennett, CEO of The Wildlife Trusts, was scathing in his criticism of the decisions. He said: "The UK Government has consistently undermined efforts to address the climate crisis and has proved to be utterly incompetent at tackling the scale of the emergency. Now it is giving itself a 'get out of jail free' card by abandoning its own targets because it has failed to put plans in place to reach the crucial net zero target of a 100% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 compared with 1990 levels. It's blaming rising costs when the truth is dither and delay will push bills up instead. Scrapping plans to help homes with better insulation and bring down emissions will leave households worse off and the UK more dependent on fossil fuel imports. 

"Science tells us that our climate needs action much faster than that. We suffered the hottest June ever this year, the North Atlantic Ocean experienced a severe and unprecedented marine heatwave, and unseasonably wet weather caused problems for this year's harvest for UK farmers in August.  

"Out of kilter seasons are having negative effects on people and the natural world. Just as wildlife is suffering from polluted rivers and beaches, the Government's desperate act to scrap plans to protect our planet and ecosystems will add to the pressure nature faces. All the while, the government's net zero policies on carbon-storing habitat recovery, peatland restoration and prevention of nature loss are far too little and too slow.

"If the government doesn't like the policies it has, it must come up with something better to ensure we're on the path to net zero instead. We cannot put net zero on hold. Global commitments must be met – for the sake of British people, our food security, to reduce the cost of living, for our threatened natural world, and for future generations."