Michael Gove says tackling climate change isn't a 'crusade'
Red light for Tories’ costly green pledges – ministers begin axing environmental measures as Michael Gove says tackling climate change isn’t a ‘crusade’
- Michael Gove warned against treating climate change like a ‘religious crusade’
- Downing Street is said reconsidering a plan on packaging tax on manufacturers
Ministers have started axing green policies amid mounting concerns they will lose votes from hard-pressed families.
Michael Gove called for the relaxation of some environmental measures as he warned against treating climate change like a ‘religious crusade’.
The Housing Secretary admitted the Government is ‘asking too much too quickly’ of landlords, who were facing a ban on renting properties unless they pay for environmental measures by 2028.
He also piled pressure on quango Natural England to end its block on house building and its requirement for councils to introduce clean air zones in new developments.
Downing Street is said to be looking again at a threatened packaging tax on manufacturers over fears the costs would be passed on to shoppers at supermarket tills.
Downing Street is said to be looking again at a threatened packaging tax on manufacturers over fears the costs would be passed on to shoppe
A £120 hydrogen tax on fuel bills is likely to be removed from draft legislation over complaints it would be unfair on households struggling during the cost of living crisis.
The scrapping or delaying of tough measures intended to help Britain reach net zero emissions by 2050 comes after the Conservatives’ opposition to London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Ulez car tax was credited with their surprise victory in the Uxbridge by-election last week.
Tory strategists believe they could replicate that success at the next general election by setting up clear dividing lines from the opposition on green policies.
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, long-serving Cabinet member Mr Gove said: ‘One of the dangers is that if people think you are treating the cause of the environment as a religious crusade, in which you’re dividing the world into goodies and baddies, then you alienate the support you need for thoughtful environmentalism.’
Red Wall MP Jonathan Gullis told LBC radio yesterday that the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars ‘is something that is concerning people and is doing damage to our automotive industry’
Backbenchers are calling for Rishi Sunak’s Government to go further by delaying the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and the 2035 end of gas boiler installations, as well as removing green levies on fuel bills.
Red Wall MP Jonathan Gullis told LBC radio yesterday: ‘This is something that is concerning people and is doing damage to our automotive industry.
‘But we also have to have an offer of reducing the tax burden to taxpayers, particularly when it comes to the high cost of living. And looking to sustain those green levies being taken off energy bills, maybe reducing VAT on fuel.
‘It is going take some bold decision-making. When you’re at 18-20 points behind in the polls, you’ve got nothing to lose and I think we should be willing to go for it.’
Former Cabinet minister Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg told GB News: ‘I would scrap the pledge to get rid of petrol cars in 2030.
‘I would get rid of things that apply direct costs. We need to think about what other countries are doing, what is proportionate and affordable.’
Michael Gove called for the relaxation of some environmental measures as he warned against treating climate change like a ‘religious crusade’
Tory grandee Sir John Redwood said: ‘Lift the proposed bans on new gas boilers and new petrol cars. They will damage UK industry. Angry consumers will not buy heat pumps and electric cars they cannot afford. World CO2 output will not fall.’
But local government minister Lee Rowley declined to say the petrol car ban should be looked at again. He told GB News: ‘We’ve got a target. Let’s all go and try and do as much as we can to get there.’
However, he agreed that the lesson of the Uxbridge by-election was ‘if you don’t think through your policies, as the Labour Party clearly haven’t, then people will say “I don’t think so”’.
Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps vowed the Government will ‘max out’ the remaining reserves of North Sea oil and gas. He branded the opposition’s pledge to ban new exploration licences as ‘madness’.
‘What Labour foolishly and irresponsibly want to do is pursue a policy of self-harm by not taking that [North Sea] oil and gas but buying it from abroad,’ Mr Shapps told the Financial Times.
A government spokesman said: ‘Affordability is at the heart of our approach to changing our energy system, to bring down bills in the long term – that’s why we are considering concerns raised on the hydrogen levy.
‘We intend to phase out the installation of new and replacement gas boilers from 2035, supporting households with our Boiler Upgrade Scheme to aid the deployment of low carbon heating systems.
‘On top of this we recently consulted on our final proposed ZEV [Zero Emission Vehicle] mandate approach, to understand the views of stakeholders on this important issue.’
Source: Read Full Article