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Rishi Sunak ‘will rue his green group attacks come election time’

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The prime minister Rishi Sunak’s decision to intensify attacks on green groups and exploit opposition to environmental protests could rebound badly for his party at the next general election, academics have warned.

They argue that public support for achieving net zero emissions by 2050 in the UK is now entrenched and unlikely to be overturned. This view is backed by opinion polls, which show that 71% of the British public support moves that will lead to curtailment of the country’s fossil fuel emissions.

“Sunak is largely performing for a pretty specific constituency within his own party,” said Prof Joe Smith, director of the Royal Geographical Society. “It is a weak tactic and the party will be punished for it because the demographics are clear. A large percentage of younger people of all political stripes are looking for purposeful action on climate change.”

The climate war between government and environmentalists came to a head learlier this month when Greenpeace members draped Sunak’s North Yorkshire house in black fabric to protest against his plan to “max…

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