I’m a Tory MP, but I know Rishi Sunak’s claims about the cost of net zero are false | Chris Skidmore

The economy will thrive under the energy transition, not suffer. So why is the government rowing back on its green pledges?

  • Chris Skidmore is a former energy minister

Last week’s announcement that the government would delay key net-zero targets came as a surprise to anyone who has followed the policy. The existing targets were fair and well considered, and enjoyed wide political support . It’s strange to cite our world-leading progress in reducing emissions and developing low-carbon technologies, then decide that is a reason for slowing down, especially when doing so risks surrendering that position and those investment opportunities to other countries.

Make no mistake, the government cannot stop our collective progress towards net zero. But it can, all too easily, slow progress at a critical time when we should be accelerating our efforts. Businesses and innovators are in a global race to create and deploy the technologies that will help us get there, and with a lack of clear political commitment Britain is lagging in some areas. Up until recently, Britain was the global leader in offshore wind power. It is now China .

Chris Skidmore is Conservative MP for Kingswood, the former energy minister who signed net zero into law, and chair of the Mission Zero independent review of net zero

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