“I find it shocking, really disappointing, I think Rishi Sunak has done the wrong thing."
Not only is Rishi Sunak being slammed in the UK by his own party members as well as environmental activists for his U-turn on net zero, the Prime Minister’s credibility has also taken a battering on the international stage.
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore has launched a scathing attack on Sunak saying that he was disappointed at the Prime Minister’s decision to water down his net zero pledges and suggested that he had been captured by the interests of fossil fuel companies.
Asked for his reaction on Sunak’s U-turn, Gore told CNN: “I find it shocking, really disappointing, I think Rishi Sunak has done the wrong thing.
“I’ve heard from many of my friends in the UK, including a lot of Conservative Party members by the way who have used the phrase utter disgust and some of the young people there feel as if their generation has been stabbed in the back. It’s really shocking to me.
“Fossil fuel companies have used their wealth to slow things down.. They’re much better at capturing politicians than they are at capturing emissions.. and you can sometimes tell when they’ve captured one”.
Gore’s scathing criticism came after Sunak confirmed yesterday that he was rowing back and delaying a number of policies on net zero.
Sunak said that people would still be able to buy new diesel and petrol vehicles until 2035 – a delay of five years on the previous plan, which set out to ban them by 2030. He also announced plans to significantly weaken the plan to phase out the installation of gas boilers by 2035, instead aiming for only an 80% phase-out.
The Prime Minister also announced he would no longer require homeowners and landlords to meet energy efficiency targets.
His U-turns have drawn criticism not only from opposition politicians but also from within his own party. Zac Goldsmith posted on X: “I have had 00s of messages from Cons friends in govt, Parliament & around the world telling me this move by the PM vindicates my decision to noisily resign.
“I didn’t want vindication. I hoped it would add pressure on govt to prove me & others wrong. We need an election. Now.”
Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward