PATRICK Harvie has said that the UK is witnessing “climate denial like never before” during an interview on Rishi Sunak’s net zero U-turn.

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister vowed to press ahead with watering down key green policies despite facing intense criticism.

Among the announcements included pushing back the ban on purchasing new petrol cars from 2030 to 2035 and delaying the target of eliminating gas boilers.

Speaking on The Sunday Show on the BBC, Harvie (below) said: “What they [the UK Government] care about is creating a new wedge issue.

The National: Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie

“We know that the population as a whole has very few people who are outright climate deniers. People want to do the right thing, they want climate action, they see the urgency of the planetary emergency that we’re living in.

“They want that urgency from government, they want to be supported – but what the UK Government wants is to use this as a wedge issue between those who say we need to take action and those who say no we don’t need to.

“As a result, within minutes of him [Sunak] making that speech, the phrase ‘climate scam’ was trending on Twitter.

“We’re now seeing outright climate denial on a scale that we haven’t seen before and the Tories love it.”

Speaking on the Laura Kuenssberg show on Sunday, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps defended Sunak’s U-turn.

He said he “entirely” backed the Prime Minister’s decisions.

READ MORE: Ed Davey labelled 'so weird' for failing to answer Brexit question

Host Martin Geissler put it to Harvie that Sunak would argue he is trying to save families money with his policies.

“The problem is if we just say we’re going to slow down, we’re going to take our time, we’re not going to meet the targets, that means you won’t get the investment from industry to build the supply chain”, Harvie replied.  

He continued: “The purpose of setting ambition targets is not because you know you can meet them but because it stretches you beyond what you thought you could do in the first place.”