Rishi Sunak is poised to deliver a speech in Downing Street on Wednesday afternoon in which he is expected to announce the watering down of climate change commitments.
The Prime Minister will set out a “proportionate” approach to cutting emissions in his televised address, despite a backlash from industry and the prospect of a damaging rift in the Tory party.
It follows a hastily arranged call with Cabinet ministers on Wednesday morning after speculation around his plans leaked on Tuesday night.
What time can I watch Rishi Sunak’s speech?
Mr Sunak is set to deliver his speech on net zero commitments from Downing Street at 4.30pm on Wednesday 20 September.
An announcement had been due to take place later this week but the leak to the BBC about the plans appears to have persuaded No 10 to bring it forward.
When the Prime Minister makes his address, you’ll be able to catch it live via a stream at the top of this page or at the bottom of this section.
You will also be able to see it on BBC News and Sky News – you can watch BBC News online with BBC iPlayer, and Sky News through its YouTube channel.
What can you expect from Rishi Sunak’s speech?
The BBC reported that measures being considered include weakening the plan to phase out gas boilers from 2035 and delaying the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars – currently due in 2030 – by five years.
In a statement, Mr Sunak said his plans would not be derailed by a “leak”, claiming politicians “of all stripes have not been honest about costs and trade-offs” associated with net zero.
The Prime Minister also accused previous Tory governments of taking “the easy way out, saying we can have it all”.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman, a key figure on the Conservative right, backed the Prime Minister for making “difficult decisions” on net zero and putting “household costs first”, adding on Times Radio: “We’re not going to save the planet by bankrupting the British people.”
However, the potential policy shift has alarmed the car industry, which has invested on the basis of a 2030 shift away from petrol and diesel.
Ford UK chairwoman Lisa Brankin said: “Our business needs three things from the UK Government: ambition, commitment and consistency. A relaxation of 2030 would undermine all three.”
The erupting business backlash may have forced Mr Sunak to announce the plans sooner than he intended as he faced criticism for disrupting the certainty needed for firms to invest in Britain.
Chris Norbury, the chief executive of the E.ON energy firm, said the move would be a “mis-step on many levels” as he hit out at the “false argument” that green policies can only come at a cost, arguing they deliver affordable energy while boosting jobs.
He Said: “From a business perspective, companies wanting to invest in the UK need long-term certainty to create the jobs and economic prosperity the country needs.
“Equally, in our homes and communities we risk condemning people to many more years of living in cold and draughty homes that are expensive to heat, in cities clogged with dirty air from fossil fuels, missing out on the economic regeneration this ambition brings.”
Additional reporting from Press Association