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Thursday, April 18, 2024
HomeBusinessUK manufacturing groups critique Rishi Sunak's flip-flops on net zero commitments.

UK manufacturing groups critique Rishi Sunak’s flip-flops on net zero commitments.

Manufacturing groups have criticized UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak for diluting the country’s net-zero emission targets, calling it a “huge setback” for the sector. In a letter to the Financial Times, leaders of 15 manufacturers’ trade bodies including Make UK and the Chemical Industries Association said the move sent the wrong signal and suggested a backward approach. Sunak faced backlash from his own Conservative party and environmental campaigners after announcing the relaxation of targets, which included delaying the ban on petrol and diesel car sales and diluting the phaseout of fossil fuel boilers.

The manufacturing groups warned that the government’s decision to water down its net-zero policies would be detrimental to manufacturers and highlighted the devastating impact it would have on small and medium-sized enterprises in the automotive supply chain. Furthermore, they criticized the uncertainty created by the change in policy, which could damage the UK’s international competitiveness. The groups called for a long-term industrial strategy that would encourage innovation in areas such as net zero and artificial intelligence, suggesting the creation of a mechanism like a Royal Commission to ensure stability and confidence for investments.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) also criticized the UK government’s weakening of net-zero targets, stating that advanced economies should take the lead on climate action. The IEA published a report emphasizing the need for global investment in clean energy to reach $4.5 trillion per year by the early 2030s to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The organization argued that clean energy industries would create jobs and economic opportunities, urging countries to position themselves early to take advantage of these benefits.

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