But others remain less convinced. Sam Hall, director of the Conservative Environment Network – a forum of people with conservative values who support net zero – told The Big Issue that these policy reversals have the potential to undermine economic certainty in the UK.
“The government put forward their net zero strategy just three years ago, this laid out targets that businesses have been preparing for, training up new staff, creating new installers”, he said. “If the government then changes these targets, businesses are being put out. We’ve already seen today that businesses are coming forward and saying they need greater certainty.”
In the wake of Sunak’s plans being leaked, the AA said that car manufacturers need “more certainty” so that they can keep planning for the future. And car manufacturer Ford said that the company needs “ambition, commitment and consistency” from the government, adding that the proposed relaxation of policies would undermine all three.
Hall claims that it is currently hard to tell what the exact impact of these policy changes could have on emissions, but hopes that the government would be compensating for any increases with alternative measures to “protect future generations”.