Press release: PM must stick with net-zero policies to cut bills and support business, say senior cross-party MPs
For immediate release
PM must stick with net-zero policies to cut bills and support business, say senior cross-party MPs
Rishi Sunak must maintain his Government’s commitment to delivering net zero policies to cut household costs and support business, say senior cross-party MPs.
Existing policies must not be weakened. Any backsliding from the Prime Minister on his climate change and energy policies would hit consumer bank balances and undermine business stability, through higher energy bills in leaky homes, and missed investment and job creation in green industries.
The policies which must be maintained include the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, in order to cut emissions in line carbon budgets and to provide certainty for industry to invest in UK electric vehicle manufacturing and charging infrastructure.
New fines for landlords who fail to upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties must also go ahead, to lift families out of fuel poverty whilst also cutting emissions. Private renters in England and Wales are on track to waste £1.1bn this year on energy that leaks out of their walls and windows, compared to people living in better insulated homes. .
Voters overwhelmingly support ambitious action to reach net zero. Polling out today shows that more voters support green policies than oppose, with 22% of those who supported the Conservatives in 2019 saying they would vote for another party if the net zero by 2050 pledge was dropped .
93% of global GDP represented by over 80% of countries have committed to a net zero target, and with COP28 on the horizon, this rowing back sends a harmful signal globally.
Reaching this goal will be impossible if urgent on-the-ground action is not taken this decade to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The MPs lead parliamentary groups which have the support of over 150 MPs from all parties and nations. They include the Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP, who signed the 2050 net zero target into law when he was an Energy Minister, and Green MP Caroline Lucas.
Chris Skidmore, Chair of the Environment APPG, said:
“Any delay to our net zero commitments will be at the detriment of the UK’s jobs, investment and economic growth. We risk destabilising business confidence in the UK that would have created thousands of jobs across the country. People will pay the price through higher bills and prices, leaving the UK stranded with the industries of the past rather than the future.”
Caroline Lucas, Chair of the Climate Change APPG and Fuel Poverty & Energy Efficiency APPG, said:
“This is pure political game-playing from Rishi Sunak - he clearly doesn’t care about the climate in the slightest. He knows green policies will make energy bills cheaper, homes warmer, our air cleaner and will protect the environment for generations to come. Bending to the misinformed demands of a handful of Tory backbenchers, under the misapprehension of delivering short-term political gain, will leave people paying the price for his government’s failures”.
Ben Lake, Chair of the Fuel Poverty & Energy Efficiency APPG, said:
"Today's rollback is a betrayal of those in fuel poverty. By failing to bring in minimum energy standards for rented homes, the government is consigning millions of households to unaffordable energy bills for years to come. Government delays to introduce tougher energy efficiency standards have already made private renters the hardest hit by the energy crisis, costing them close to two billion pounds extra a year during this ongoing energy crisis. There are millions of renters in the UK. Why is the Prime Minister not standing up for those who most need his support?"
Wera Hobhouse, Vice-Chair of the Environment APPG and Climate Change APPG, said:
“The time for Rishi Sunak to recognise the boundless potential of embracing future industries and safeguarding future generations from the ravages of climate change is now. This catastrophic misstep will only drive energy bills for families across the UK, and worsen the already hard-hitting cost of living crisis. Action on protecting our planet is not a bus we can miss and get another one.”
Barry Gardiner, Chair of the International Conservation APPG, said:
“Our response to climate change must be science-led not politics-led. Instead of a unilateral statement rolling back climate action further, real leadership would have been to call together a cross party dialogue to reach a consensus on how we can help the vulnerable cope with energy bills this winter and accelerate our progress towards the cleaner future that his own Treasury Review said was the economically sensible thing to do.”
For more information or further comment, please contact Lucy Pegg at the Environment APPG on 07354848176 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes for editors
 Updated August 2023 analysis from Citizen’s Advice, https://wearecitizensadvice.org.uk/why-delaying-action-on-net-zero-will-cost-consumers-d70d0996a600
 August 2023 Public First polling, https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/rishi-sunak-net-zero-u-turn-voters-pollsters-warn-2630081
 This letter is supported by the APPG for the Environment, the Climate Change APPG, the Fuel Poverty & Energy Efficiency APPG, the Net Zero APPG, and the International Conservation APPG.