Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has ditched the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles, rolling it back until 2035.
Sunak said in a press conference this afternoon on net-zero: “Motivated by short term thinking, politicians have taken the easy way out, but we are telling people what they want to hear, but not what they need to hear.”
He continued that he was keen on “the long-term interests of our country” and that was “even if it means being controversial”, and despite the previous commitments of the 2019 Conservative Party manifesto to net-zero.
“You don’t reach net-zero by simply wishing it, but that’s precisely what previous politicians have done” and “we need to change the debate”, Sunak said. He added: “The debate needs more clarity, not emotion.”
Although he said he was “proud” of the current progress and the 2030 targets, he said: “By 2030, I’m sure the vast majority of cars will be electric. But I think at least for now, it should be the consumer that makes that choice, not the government. Because the upfront costs are high. And we have further to go to get the charging infrastructure nationwide.”
“We are easing the transition to electric vehicles and you will still be able to buy petrol and diesel cars until 2035.”
He claimed the move was bringing it into line with European countries.
Professionals earlier in the day from across the transport, energy and automotive sectors have hit back at the Government’s watering down of their key green policies – including delaying the ban on the sales of new petrol and diesel cars.