Electric Vehicles

UK U-turn on ICE Ban
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UK U-turn on ICE Ban

By Simon Johns - Sep 21, 2023

U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the ban on new internal combustion engine vehicles will be pushed back five years. He made the announcement at a Downing Street press conference in response to leaks revealing his government’s intentions to water down its climate commitments.

Under the leadership of Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, the government set a net-zero target for 2050. The country emits about 307 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. Per capita emissions have been more than halved in 30 years.

Many criticized Sunak’s announcement, including members of his own party, climate scientists and former U.S. Vice-president Al Gore, who said Sunak was “doing the wrong thing.”

Sources in Number 10 said the Prime Minister initiated the u-turn on the ICE ban himself with Conservative electioneer Isaac Levido providing ideological support. Levido’s aim was to dig a deeper political trench between the Conservatives and the opposition Labour ahead of the general election next year, media reports said.

Labour’s Shadow Energy Secretary Ed Milliband condemned the u-turn. “This is an act of weakness from a desperate, directionless prime minister, dancing to the tune of a small minority of his party. Liz Truss crashed the economy and Rishi Sunak is trashing our economic future,” he said.

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