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News 21 September 2023

Our response to the watering down of net zero targets

The UK’s Prime Minister has announced that key targets designed to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency will be removed or postponed.

The policies being changed include those around sustainable transport, renewable heating systems and improving home energy efficiency. Whilst the UK government is set to increase the grant available through the boiler upgrade scheme from £5000 to £7500, key polices intended to make homes warmer and reduce costs are being watered down with others being scrapped entirely.

The government also announced that oil and gas would continue to be extracted from the North Sea and that the process for setting Carbon Budgets, which are provided by the UK’s independent adviser on climate change, would be changed.

Commenting on the announcement, Stew Horne, head of policy at Energy Saving Trust, said: 

“It’s hugely disappointing that fundamental green targets are being delayed. Our over-reliance on fossil fuels for heat and power is the root cause of the high cost of energy.

“The economic benefits of policies which support people to improve the energy efficiency of their homes, reducing energy bills and carbon, have been robustly proven. 

“Shifting to renewable power and sustainable transport are also solutions to support the transition to net zero. Other nations are already leading the way in implementing policies that cut costs and carbon emissions simultaneously whilst increasing energy security.

“As the climate emergency escalates, now is the time for scaling up ambition and action to provide industry and public confidence and bring down costs. Now is not the time to backtrack on targets and risk being left behind whilst the rest of the world is making the just transition to net zero.”  

Last updated: 21 September 2023