In this month’s episode of the Bylines Network Podcast, Chris and Julian discuss the recent announcement made by Rishi Sunak to roll back on measures to help the UK reach Net Zero.
What was announced?
Last week (at time of writing), Rishi Sunak announced that he was delaying the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to 2035, pushed back the transition away from fossil fuel boilers to the same year, and scrapped energy efficiency targets on homes. This episode explores what these changes mean, why they are a bad idea and how Rishi Sunak has managed to achieve the rare feat of uniting climate campaigners, the automotive industry and energy industry.
With a shiny new slogan on his lectern, “Long-term decisions for a brighter future”, Rishi Sunak decided to make short term decisions for his own political gain. Whether this gamble will pay off is yet to be seen.
What does this mean?
Ultimately, not much. These announcements were widely seen as a cynical announcement to try to appease climate sceptics who believe net zero is a bad thing. We are sure that Rishi Sunak was hoping for support from people other than Donald Trump.
In the run up to COP28, this sends completely the wrong message, and alongside the announcement after recording that the drilling at the new Rosebank Oil Field has been approved, many think these decisions tarnish the UK’s claim that we are a leader in tackling climate change. Summing it up succinctly, the Welsh Climate Change Minister calls the UK the “dirty man of Europe”.
This episode is not a very uplifting one, and for that listeners we do apologise, however now more than ever it is important to make your voice heard, whether that’s writing to your elected representatives, attending protests, or supporting organisations like the Bylines Network who call out Conservative incompetence.
It is not an exaggeration to say that climate change is the most urgent challenge humanity faces, and the urgent and bold action is needed. We can only hope a general election is called soon to deliver the change that is desperately needed.
Please listen to the episode below and subscribe to the BylinesNetwork Podcast wherever you get your podcasts.