RISHI Sunak has announced that his government is to shred the UK's net zero targets, in what is very obviously a bid to pander to the fossil fuel and motoring lobby ahead of the general election expected next year.

He then put out an Orwellian statement turning truth on its head, claiming "Our politics must again put the long-term interests of our country before the short-term political needs of the moment."

The short term political needs of the Conservative Party are all that Sunak has in mind. To hell with the long term interests of the country, and indeed the world.

Sunak has said that he will abandon the plan to end the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, postponing this to 2035 instead. The 2030 date has been government policy since 2020 and as recently as July Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, insisted that the 2030 target was "immovable."

Sunak has also abandoned the plan to phase out the installation of new domestic gas boilers. The original plan was to ban the installation of new gas boilers by 2035. However, now Sunak says that the government only wants an 80% reduction in the number of new gas boiler installations by that date.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak delays ban on sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles

Additionally, Sunak will scrap the new energy efficiency regulations which had been planned for homeowners and landlords.

On top of this private jet addict Sunak has said that no new taxes will be introduced to discourage flying, a major source of CO2 emissions, and the government will not seek to introduce policies to change people's diets to more healthy and sustainable foods. 

Neither will the government introduce any measures to promote car sharing, seen as a key strategy for reducing traffic congestion. You can't get much more Tory than that. It could be the new slogan for the Conservative Party: "We don't like to share."

Sunak also intends to get rid of what he sees as "burdensome" recycling schemes. The government had reportedly been considering a recycling strategy in which households would have had "seven bins" - with six separate recycling bins plus one for general waste.

Now, the Tories will just have us chuck everything in one bin that goes to landfill. After all, they are quite happy to fill rivers and beaches with sewage, so creating a huge pile of stinking rubbish is very much on brand for them. It's what they have been doing in government for years now.

The National: Pollution from petrol and diesel vehicles is set to continue after Rishi Sunak pushed back a key commitment on climate changePollution from petrol and diesel vehicles is set to continue after Rishi Sunak pushed back a key commitment on climate change

This bonfire of net zero commitments comes after Sunak announced that his government will issue new licences to exploit oil and gas resources in the North Sea and after it trashed the auction for offshore wind farms by refusing to listen to warnings that the terms they had set did not allow renewable energy companies a return on their investment.

Sunak and his cronies in the Tory party are shamelessly gambling with the future of the entire planet in pursuit of another shot at five years of lying, corruption and gaslighting at Westminster.

These new anti-environmental plans greeted as "common sense" by the same right wing media outlets which enthusiastically hailed Liz Truss as the new Conservative Prime Minister who was going to restore the party's and the country's fortunes, are being announced after the dismal failure of the Conservatives' media blitz on the small boats bringing migrants across the English Channel to reverse the party's dire standing in the opinion polls.

Party managers have obviously looked at the outcome of the recent Uxbridge by-election, where opposition to the expansion of London's Ultra Low Emissions Zone saved the Tories' skin, and are hoping to repeat the trick across the UK as a whole. To hell with the consequences for the planet, the climate, or human civilisation as a whole.

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The Conservatives are showing that they really are the party which fiddled while the planet burned. Sunak is pandering to the extreme right climate change deniers who are very influential in his party and the frothing talking heads of GB News. It's like developing a vaccines policy to please Neil Oliver.

If Sunak cares about the climate, why the private jets?

Rishi Sunak took 23 private flights in 187 days. He flew London to Blackpool in a 14-seat RAF jet, although it's only 3 hrs by train. The same to Leeds, it's 2 and a half hours by train. Private flights are 14 times more polluting than commercial flights and 50 times more polluting than trains. Of course, Sunak doesn't care about the environment.

The Tories tell us that the climate crisis is too expensive to deal with; England's tsunami of sewage is too expensive to deal with. School roofs crumbling on the heads of pupils is too expensive to deal with; the crisis in the NHS is too expensive to deal with. It's hard to escape the conclusion that what they really mean is that these things are not personally profitable for them and their donors.

The Labour party is unlikely to be much better, Starmer's U turn on Labour's £28 billion a year investment programme for a green transition is what has given the Tories the political opportunity for some U turns of their own. Labour also tells us that it's too expensive to address these problems even as Starmer refuses to raise taxes on the rich.

The National: Rishi Sunak once championed Boris Johnson's commitments on climate changeRishi Sunak once championed Boris Johnson's commitments on climate change

Even the motor industry has reacted negatively to Sunak's plans to U turn on net zero commitments.

In a statement Lisa Brankin the chair of Ford UK pointed out that by abolishing the 2030 target to phase out new petrol and diesel vehicles, the government was undermining the motor industry's global US $50 billion investment in the production and development of electric vehicles, adding that the industry requires three things from the British Government, ambition, consistency, and commitment, she said that a relaxation of the 2030 target undermines all three.

Energy company E.ON has joined in the criticism, saying Sunak's U-turn risks "condemning people to many more years of living in cold and draughty homes that are expensive to heat, in cities clogged with dirty air from fossil fuels."

Imagine being so terrible you're getting automobile manufacturers and energy firms uniting to oppose your anti-green measures. That, however, is where we are with this government.