Caroline Lucas sums up ‘disbelief’ at Rishi Sunak’s green policy plans

Prime Minister "economically illiterate" if key net zero commitments rolled back

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas

The leaked news that Rishi Sunak is planning to row back on green policy pledges this week by weakening net zero commitments has caused widespread outrage across the political spectrum.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas hit back by accusing the Prime Minister of being, “economically illiterate, historically inaccurate and environmentally bone-headed.”

Lucas said the ‘absurd rollback’ will result in higher energy bills, colder homes, few jobs, more air pollution and climate chaos, before she stated, “Game, set and match to the climate dinosaurs?”.

Speaking on BBC News last night, Lucas laid into Sunak, summing up her disbelief before going on to explain what delaying energy efficiency measures will mean for bills and emissions.

“People are paying more than they need to in order to heat their homes right now because we are locked into more and more fossil fuels,” said Lucas.

“There were going to be standards that would mean homes would be more efficient. By scrapping those what Rishi Sunak is going to do is consigning yet more people to paying far more for their energy bills.

“When it comes to investment in the green economy he’s now going to make so many businesses extremely angry and confused because he’s changing the goal post when it comes to green investment.

“We know investment in the green economy is good for jobs, it’s good for our environment and the economy. So basically, he seems to be doing this simply to draw some dividing lines with Labour.”

Businesses in the auto industry have already expressed their concerns, with Ford and BMW saying they ‘need more certainty and consistency’ from the government. Whilst Tory MPs have condemned the move, with Lord Zac Goldsmith accusing the UK of turning “its back on future generations”.

Ed Miliband has declared the plans, “a complete farce from a Tory government that literally does not know what they are doing day to day”. 

“13 years of failed energy policy has led to an energy bills crisis, weakened our energy security, lost jobs, and failed on the climate crisis,” wrote Miliband.

According to reports the possible changes include; delaying a ban on new petrol and diesel car sales, delaying a ban on off-grid oil boilers to 2035, no new taxes to discourage flying, no policies encouraging carpooling and phasing out 80% (no all) new gas boilers by 2035 and ruling out “seven bin” recycling schemes.

The campaign organisation GreenPeace said that Sunak was ‘taking the public for fools’.

“He claims he’s helping ordinary people by playing politics with the climate, but we know the real winners will be big corporations like the oil and gas lobby,” siad Greenpeace UK’s policy director, Doug Parr.

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward, focusing on trade unions and environmental issues

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