Harrogate MP backs Rishi Sunak on delay to petrol car ban in disagreement with charity on climate change record
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Addressing criticism by the usually non-political Zero Carbon Harrogate, Andrew Jones MP said the UK had "decarbonised faster than any other G7 country since 1990".
The Government's announcement last month of a delay to the petrol car ban was described by many political commentators as a major shift on green policies.
But Mr Jones is sticking to his guns on backing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's decision to put back the deadline for fossil fuel cars.
The Harrogate and Knaresborough MP, who has until now enjoyed a cooperative relationship with environmental charity Zero Carbon Harrogate, said the UK was still setting an international example on the road to net zero.
"The deadline of 2050 has not changed and the Prime Minister has rightly acknowledged that some policies, such as those involving electric vehicles (EVs) and oil-fire boilers in rural areas, were not viable within the previously set deadline,” said Mr Jones.
"The revised phase out for sales of new petrol and diesel cars is 2035 as opposed to 2030.
"This puts us in the same position as France, Germany, Spain and several US states.
"I am aware that the UK has historically produced emissions through industrialisation, though the Government is only responsible for tackling domestic emissions produced now.
"We have decarbonised faster than any other G7 country since 1990.
"Our reduction in emissions is 48 per cent.
"The figure for France is 22 per cent, the US has seen no change at all and China has gone 300 per cent in the other direction.
"What is important now is international cooperation so that other, larger carbon-emitting countries can follow the UK’s lead and prevent the worst effects of climate change, as set out in your email, from happening."
The Harrogate MP said he had been working with Government ministers on National Grid capacity to support the switch to electric.
And he claimed fuel poverty had fallen by approximately a third since he became an MP in 2010.