Rishi Sunak insisted he is taking a “pragmatic” and “realistic” approach to net zero – but by toning down the UK’s strategy he has sent out a message to the world that Britain doesn’t see the climate crisis as a priority.

The Prime Minister, incredibly, hit out at “short-term thinking” on net zero, before essentially forcing more drastic action on climate in later years to catch up, given he was adamant the 2050 net zero target remains intact.

Pushing the ban on new petrol and diesel cars to 2035 from 2030 has already angered manufacturers and there appears to be little incentive in England for homeowners to clean up their heating systems.

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A lot of his row-backs are devolved to the Scottish Government, although funding from Westminster to pay for the SNP-Green administration’s plans could be thrown into even more doubt.

Patrick Harvie has a funding gap in his heat in buildings strategy of more than £30 billion, although the majority will need to be found from private sector investment.

Lots of pieces of Scotland’s jigsaw to net zero, set for 2045, go hand in hand with action at a UK-level.

The Prime Minister said he was scrapping a host of policies, many of which, like a proposed tax on meat, were not in fact actual policies, but recommendations not taken up by the Government.

Amongst them was an insistence that proposed recycling schemes would not go ahead. The vague promise has cast doubt on Scotland’s already-troubled deposit return scheme.

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The policy, repeatedly delayed by the Scottish Government, was effectively vetoed by the UK Government after Tory ministers refused to allow glass to be included in an exemption of the Internal Market Act.

The solution was agreed that a UK-wide scheme will proceed – but we just don’t know if that has been thrown on the scrapheap, along with other policies.

It is easy not to be surprised by the U-turn from the PM.

He has history of not being fussed by the climate emergency – announcing dozens of new exploration licenses for oil and gas in the North Sea earlier this year.

But this message to the public is largely a political one.

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The Conservatives clinging onto Boris Johnson’s former seat in a by-election earlier this year was blamed by both the Tories and Labour on London’s ultra low emission zone plans – predominately a public health measure to tackle air pollution.

The Tories are desperately hanging onto power as we enter next year when a general election will be held.

Failing a disaster for Labour, Rishi Sunak will leave Downing Street next year.

His net zero gamble is based on a hope and a prayer that the public will back his watered-down strategy if they believe it will cost them less. But much like his time in Downing Street, that is a short-term measure.

But what the Prime Minister has done is erode any goodwill on the international stage on the climate crisis that has remained since COP26. It's fair to say that the Glasgow conference’s legacy now lies in tatters.