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Economically inept and environmentally reckless – Friends of the Earth slams Sunak’s weakened green plan

news release

Friends of the Earth has hit out at Prime Minister Rishi Sunak after he confirmed today that several key green policies would be weakened (and scrapping some that were never firm proposals – such as compulsory car sharing or meat taxes).

The environmental campaign group also warned that the Prime Minister is sailing into dangerous legal waters with his climate policy reversals because legally-binding targets are highly unlikely to be met despite Rishi Sunak stating he is still committed to them- let alone the tougher international 2030 target of 68% emission cuts.

Earlier this year Friends of the Earth mounted a legal challenge (along with ClientEarth and Good Law Project) over the government’s current climate action strategy – the Carbon Budget Delivery Plan (CBDP) – and its failure to publish assessments it carried out on how confident they are on the policies in the plan being delivered.

Friends of the Earth’s head of policy, Mike Childs, said:

“Rishi Sunak is being environmentally reckless and economically inept.

“Building a green economy is the best way to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, boost energy security and strengthen the economy. Weakening these green policies will simply undermine business confidence and put British jobs at risk.

“The government is already being taken to court over its weak and feeble climate action plan, which we say is unlawful. If this current package is weakened further, and in a way that’s not transparent about delivery risks, then further legal challenges are inevitable.

“With the world in the midst of a climate crisis we need bold political leadership – not another Prime Minister posturing to a narrow section of his own party for perceived short-term electoral gains. The consequences won’t just fall on people in the UK – they will reverberate globally.”


For more information and interview requests please contact: Friends of the Earth press office on 020 7566 1649 or email


  1. The High Court has ordered a three day ‘rolled up’ hearing for the legal challenges brought by Friends of the Earth, ClientEarth and Good Law Project over the government’s revised net zero strategy (the Carbon Budget Delivery Plan (CBDP)), which will be heard next year:
  2. Last year, the three organisations successfully challenged  the government’s original net zero strategy, with the High Court finding that the Government had breached the Climate Change Act and ordering the government to revise its strategy (the subsequent CBDP resulted):

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