Johnson poised to backtrack on mid-2030s gas boiler ban

Boris Johnson abandons plans to ban sales of new gas boilers in the UK from the mid-2030s amid concerns about ministers and conservatives about the cost to consumers of moving to net zero emissions.

The replacement of millions of gas boilers is an important part of the UK’s strategy to achieve the net zero target by 2050. The UK Prime Minister’s withdrawal could spark a backlash from climate scientists and environmental activists before the UK adopted the UN COP26 Climate. hosts summit in November.

Emissions from buildings remain stubbornly high. The housing sector will account for almost 21% of all UK carbon emissions in 2020, mainly from natural gas.

The Climate Change Commission, the government’s official advisor, said last year that if the UK is to meet its legally binding net zero emissions target, all gas boilers would have to be banned by 2033.

But according to planning experts, the minister is worried about the cost of heat pumps. This is one of the few viable green options to replace traditional gas heaters.

This follows the increase in pressure in recent weeks from many conservative backbenchers who warned of the cost of the government’s net-zero policies to consumers.

No final decision is expected until the government releases the long-awaited enthusiasm and strategic document for the building. This is planned for this fall.

Earlier this week, environmental groups like Greenpeace Johnson called on “concrete guidelines to reduce CO2 emissions as quickly as possible”. Landmark report More than 230 international scientists warn that the world is warming much faster than expected.

A senior government official said it was unlikely that gas boilers would be banned outright by 2035 due to cost concerns. “We never intended to ban it. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. The transition is everything. Every 10 years everyone tears up the kettle, so that’s normal, ”they say. I did.

Whitehall officials said the government is focused on making the transition affordable. “We encourage people to switch to low-carbon alternatives and build household heat pump manufacturing facilities from the ground up to cut costs,” they said.

Officials said the minister is looking for “other low-carbon alternatives” to heat pumps that could cost more than £ 10,000, such as hydrogen-fueled boilers.

The debate over the transition to Net Zero has sparked amazement among some conservative lawmakers, particularly libertarian activists and representatives of the so-called red wall of the former Labor Party headquarters, who are concerned about the cost burden. I did.

South The Net lawmaker Craig Mackinlay said he and his Conservative counterparts plan to formalize the opposition after Congress returned to a group called the Net Zero Scrutiny Group in September. ..

“I want to leave this planet in a better place than we found it, but I was elected Conservative to make people’s lives better, cleaner and cheaper.” He said.

“Low wage earners are not wealthy and always seem to suffer from high fuel taxes. It can have a disproportionate impact on low wages, but conservatives shouldn’t. think about.”

Former Brexit Minister Steve Baker warns that boiler bans will “leave Britain’s poorest out in the rain”, arguing that the government needs to clarify the cost of achieving net zero.

A senior Tory said parliamentarians were concerned for political and idealistic reasons. “Some people don’t want to be told what to do. Associated with that is a certain determinism that they don’t like – it’s a perfectly valid Tory position. Others have problems in certain areas. I am. “

The minister added that the government “is working really hard” to liaise with lawmakers about their concerns. “There is no easy answer, but I am grateful for the stressful decisions,” they added.

Johnson stands ready to reverse the gas boiler ban in the mid-2030s

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