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Home Secretary Zuela Braverman said some of the UK government’s net zero pledges were “arbitrary”, “punitive” and “completely unrealistic” as Downing Street prepares to water down its green agenda.

Braverman told the BBC on Wednesday that ministers must not treat environmental targets as “strait-jacket” or risky targets that “wreak havoc on people’s personal budgets” given cost of living pressures.

“We will not save the planet by bankrupting the British people,” Braverman said, insisting that measures to curb carbon emissions needed to be taken in a more “sustainable way”. . . Mature. . . pragmatic approach”.

“The cost of achieving these arbitrary targets has to be considered. . . . We don’t want to set targets that are completely unrealistic and punitive,” she added.

Braverman’s sharp criticism of government policy to date comes as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to delay measures aimed at transforming the UK into a net-zero carbon economy.

The major policy shift, which could be announced as soon as Wednesday, has sparked fierce opposition from some in the car industry, environmentalists and Conservative MPs but has been welcomed by net-zero skeptics within Sunak’s party.

Sunak was forced to issue a statement on Tuesday night after the BBC reported he was considering delaying a planned ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 to 2035, and a ban on new off-grid oil boilers from 2026 to 2035 ban. 2035.

People familiar with Sunak’s thinking told the Financial Times that they also expected the government to relax its plan to ban the installation of new domestic gas boilers from 2035.

Sunak said he would reveal more details in a speech this week, pledging a more “realistic” and “proportionate” national approach to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 – an overall goal he said he would not abandon. Target.

In a veiled attack on former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who announced many of the government’s most ambitious net zero emissions targets, Sunak added: “Politicians in all governments over the years have not been honest about the costs and trade-offs.”

Braverman praised Sunak for “making a tough decision…”. . . In the interest of the country, economic growth and family budgets.”

However, Tory MPs who support the green agenda have slammed proposals to water down the timetable for green pledges.

Former COP26 president Sir Alok Sharma told the BBC that withdrawing from the climate action agenda would leave the planet “in trouble”.

Former cabinet minister Sir Simon Clark said on social media that it was in the Conservative Party’s “environmental, economic, moral and (yes) political interests” to “show leadership on this issue rather than deny it”.

The prospect of delays has also prompted an angry reaction from the car industry, with carmakers investing in electric vehicles on top of existing targets to ban new petrol and diesel cars.

Lisa Brankin, chairman of Ford UK, said the existing targets were “an important catalyst to accelerate Ford’s move into a cleaner future”, highlighting the company’s $430 million investment in its UK electrification development and manufacturing facilities Pound Sterling situation.

“Our businesses need three things from the UK government: ambition, commitment and consistency. Relaxation in 2030 will be damaging to all three,” Blenkin said in a statement reported by Sky News.

Conservatives on the party’s right joined Braverman in welcoming the shift. Conservative MP Craig McKinley, chair of the Net Zero Review Group, said delaying the ban on new fossil fuel cars and oil and gas boilers would be “good news for British consumers”.

Labour, the Lib Dems, the Greens and many environmental groups have criticized proposals to scale back the UK’s net zero emissions commitment.

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