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2030 petrol ban remains but heat pump transition could be relaxed, Gove admits

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Michael Gove has said the 2030 ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars will be maintained but has signalled a possible review of plans to switch gas boilers over to heat pumps.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “We’re committed to maintaining our policy of ensuring that by 2030 there are no new petrol and diesel cars being sold.

“I’m sure there are some people who would like to change that policy, I understand. But that policy remains.”

But in another interview with Times Radio today, the secretary of state for levelling up was ambivalent about efforts to shift the UK over to heat pumps from traditional gas boilers.

“We’re living through a real cost-of-living challenge and what we don’t want to do is to force individuals to pay excessive sums at this stage – we need to take a proportionate approach,” he said.

In January, the government’s net zero review concluded that no new homes should be built with a gas boiler from 2025. It also proposed a 10-year plan to ensure heat pumps become more widespread throughout the UK.

This was coupled with a new infrastructure strategy that supports adaptation for new green energy sources such as hydrogen and other liquid and gaseous fuels.

Gove said he is looking into relaxing proposals that would require landlords to ensure all private rented housing meets grade C energy efficiency requirements by 2028.

A cross-party group of 23 MPs and peers have written to Rishi Sunak today urging him not to be complacent in trying to deliver the UK’s 2050 net zero goal.

The signatories, who include Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and former international environment minister Lord Goldsmith, warned that the UK “cannot be complacent in tackling climate change”.

“Continuing to rely on gas at the current level will come at double the cost of transitioning to net zero,” the letter reads.

“Equally, as you were recently warned by top energy companies: backing away from green policies would be catastrophic for the economy. We know that pursuing a clean energy economy brings with it the potential to create jobs, address regional inequality and, perhaps most importantly in the context of extraordinarily high gas prices, it can provide permanent energy affordability and security for the whole country.”

The letter comes less than a week after the by-election in Uxbridge and South Ruislip that saw the Conservative Party narrowly hold on to the seat despite drastically declining fortunes elsewhere in the country. The win has been largely attributed to concerns from local residents over the expansion of the ultra-low emission zone which has been proposed by Labour’s London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

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