UK PM Sunak: net zero is important but do not want to add to bills

LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Monday that the government’s net zero targets were important to him, but he did not want to do anything that would add to people’s bills at a time of high inflation.

Britain in 2019 became the first member of the Group of Seven Wealthy Nations to set a net zero target, but some in Sunak’s Conservative Party have criticized the net zero agenda for being too expensive.

Asked if the government was still fully committed to its goals of ending the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030 and reaching net zero emissions by 2050, Sunak told reporters: “Of course net zero is important to me… We’re going to keep making progress towards our net zero ambition.”

British housing minister Michael Gove warned on Sunday against making tackling climate change “a religious crusade”, days after the Conservatives narrowly won a local election by opposing charges for the most polluting vehicles.

“We’re living through a time at the moment where inflation is high that’s having an impact on household and family bills. And I don’t want to do anything to add to that,” Sunak said.

So yes, we’re going to make progress towards net zero but we’re going to do that in a proportionate and pragmatic way that doesn’t unnecessarily give people more hassle and more cost in their life.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan. Editing by Andrew MacAskill

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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