British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has also done so announced a big U-turn on the UK’s ‘net zero policy’. This amounts to three important policy changes:
- Electric vehicles – Three years after announcing a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030, the ban has been postponed until 2035;
- New exceptions to the ban on the sale of new domestic gas boilers from 2035 – while the ban on the sale of new gas boilers will remain in place from 2035, new exemptions will be introduced to help poorer households, although details will follow. Sales of oil, LPG and coal boilers for off-grid homes are postponed until 2035;
- Stricter EPC requirements will be deleted – from 2025, homes would no longer be allowed to be rented unless they achieved a “C” label for energy efficiency. This has been deleted. Mr Sunak said this could have led to a requirement to invest around £8,000 per property. No announcements have been made about commercial real estate.
The changes have sparked mixed reactions, with some commentators highly critical of Mr Sunak’s U-turn and warning that introducing uncertainty could seriously undermine investor confidence in Britain.
Individual, research conducted by The Guardian and Corporate Accountability suggests that the “majority of [carbon] offset projects” are “probably junk,” with as many as 78% of projects worthless due to one or more shortcomings that undermine promised emissions reductions.
Finally some fascinating news research published by Grantham Research Institute An assessment has been made of how the EU emissions trading system is enforced. Although the authors found generally high levels of compliance, this was accompanied by low enforcement rates – a pattern known as the ‘Harrington Paradox’. The report aims to square this circle and look at the effectiveness of enforcement strategies other than fines, such as ‘naming and shaming’.