Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, Chief Executive of the REA (Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology) said:

“While badged as a ‘pragmatic response’ to the cost-of-living crisis and the UK’s (undoubted) good progress to date on cutting emissions, it is hard not to see today’s news as a retrograde step arguably designed to play to the PM’s base before party-conference season and pre-election. Furthermore, Sunak feeds into the ongoing misguided media rhetoric of “net zero extremists” picking high profile policies to roll back on in the hope to garner votes, while leaving the industry a few positive measures through an effective repackaging of ongoing commitments.

“The renewables and clean tech industry have long called on government to support all households in the energy transition. This could have been achieved through more consistent policies over the last five years, and today’s statements mark an admission of government’s previous failures.

“The purpose of long-term targets is to allow time for people to make the transition and for government to support them in doing so, and delays risk making the transition more expensive, while damaging UK competitiveness in terms of green investment. It is curious as to how government intends for the UK to remain a world leader by retracting on commitments – Industry urgently requires details on the Prime Minister’s new approach as a whole.

“The EV industry will particularly be looking towards more ambitious and favourable international markets.

“In addition, the throwaway statement of not “forcing” the general public “to have seven different bins” causes further concern of rollbacks on recycling infrastructure and ambitions. It is essential that government still deliver on consistency of waste collections and ensure the separation of food and garden waste, as was committed to over two years ago.

“We of course remain fully open to working with Government on the delivery of our legally binding net zero targets, including making the most of the expanded Boiler Upgrade Scheme. The REA will however be holding government to account to see net zero really delivered.”