(Bloomberg) -- British lawmakers have called on the government to provide a cost-benefit analysis of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s decision to roll back some of the UK’s climate policies.
The Energy Security and Net Zero Committee has written to Secretary Claire Coutinho, saying that it can’t understand how the government’s decision to delay key green initiatives will make anything cheaper for the average person.
Sunak softened key parts of the UK government’s green agenda last week, including delaying a ban on the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars. The prime minister cast the decision as an effort to protect families struggling with bills, but he has been accused of trying to weaponize net zero ahead of elections next year, while risking investment in clean-energy industries.
“Alarm bells are ringing over the government’s ambitions when it comes to its environmental agenda,” said lawmaker Angus MacNeil, who is chair of the parliamentary committee. “The prime minister seemed to undermine the actual gains that have been made under previous governments.”
Read more: Sunak’s Net Zero Rhetoric Is Further and Further From Reality
The majority of the 11-member committee, whose mandate is to scrutinize government policy on energy security and net zero, is from Sunak’s own Conservative party.
Sunak has insisted he is still committed to reaching net zero by 2050, saying that because the UK has met its carbon emissions reduction goals in the past, it will continue to make progress even if it delays some formal targets.
Read more: Fund Managers in ‘Complete Shock’ After Sunak’s Green Pivot
However, investors may take the recent backpedaling as an indication the UK is no longer the best place to deploy green capital. Britain’s official policy now represents “a risk for anyone considering an investment in the UK that’s dependent on government policy,” according to Ian Simm, founder and chief executive of London-based low-carbon fund Impax Asset Management Group Plc.
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