Comment: UK net zero policies under review by the Government

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By George Smeeton

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Commenting on reports that UK net zero policies are under review by the Government, Peter Chalkley, Director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said that there are questions that the Prime Minister must answer on net zero:

How does this have any impact on cost of living now or in the coming years?

“The fact is the gas boiler and petrol car phase-out aren’t set to have any impact on those struggling with bills for at least a decade. The boiler phase-out would start in 2035 but only for those whose boiler breaks. The vast majority, 80%, of drivers buy second-hand and second-hand petrol cars would be on the market for literally decades to come. Delaying this policy will push up the cost of motoring as cheaper second hand EVs that are much cheaper to run than petrol cars will be less available.

“The one measure that would have brought down bills is the landlord energy efficiency rules. Rented accommodation is some of the worst quality and so most costly to heat with tenants having no power to insulate themselves. We’ve had the lowest rates of home insulation for years during a gas crisis thanks to his flatlining programmes. The off gas grid boiler phase-out has been watered down already in the Energy Bill and would only affect 0.2% of homes a year from 2026 anyway. These measures will add to the cost of living for those struggling, not make things easier.”

What is Plan B? These U-turns would likely break our climate commitments

“A delay to the phase-out of petrol cars and boilers would very likely break our carbon targets, breaking our climate change commitments. If he doesn't have a plan for how to cut those emissions now, how can he jettison these policies. What is his plan B?”