Free Market Wonks Back Rishi’s Net Zero Rethink

As the dust settles on Rishi’s Net Zero rollback, the prevailing sentiment among the majority of Tory MPs, think tanks, and industry leaders alike is mostly positive – apart from a few squawky outliers. While the likes of Zac Goldsmith and Chris Skidmore aren’t happy, Guido hears most Tory MPs see it as a pragmatic move. One told Guido “it’s been relatively well received so far [and] they’ve got the tone right”As always, Guido brings you the low down on the reactions over in Wonk World:

The Taxpayers’ Alliance Chief John O’Connell reacted as expected, saying the TPA is pleased that Brits won’t have to dig deeper into their pockets: “Brits will be relieved by these sensible moves to take the heat off household budgets. Families and businesses want solutions to the real problem of climate change that go beyond asking them to dig ever deeper into shrinking pockets. The prime minister is right to approach this issue with hard-pressed households in mind.

The Institute of Economic Affairs’ Andy Mayer welcomed the changes, whilst hinting that he’d like to see more, saying they’re “a welcome step but could go further“.

The Adam Smith Institute’s Imogen Yates points out that “arbitrary top-down targets” are a poor strategy: “We should focus on a carrot rather than a stick approach – instead of having stringent regulations and outright bans, we should harness the power of the free-market to encourage innovation in cleaner technology and limit negative externalities. The government must also now concentrate on building the infrastructure such as EV charging points, and ensuring that our national grid will be able to cope.” Where there’s a will there’s a free market way…

Inevitably the GMB Union weren’t overwhelmingly supportive, attacking the government for not having a “credible plan to tackle climate change“. They did note that their calls to scrap the ban on gas boilers were heeded…

The Countryside Alliance were more sympathetic, saying “The PM is right to provide significantly more time for people to transition to heat pumps, understanding that in some circumstances it just won’t work.

Toyota also came out in favour of the move, calling the “welcome” changes “pragmatic“. Jaguar Land Rover also agreed. This is despite Ford’s furious comments that the roll back would undermine the government’s “ambition, commitment and consistency”. As Kemi Badenoch rightly pointed out, the auto industry “certainly does not always speak with one voice…”

Driving the agenda…

mdi-timer 21 September 2023 @ 13:09 21 Sep 2023 @ 13:09 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments