The new energy minister Claire Coutinho has said “pragmatic action” is needed to get the UK to net zero.

This comes amid reports in both The Sun and the Mail on Sunday that the Prime Minister is conducting a “review” of net zero policy ahead of the next general election.

Rishi Sunak has repeatedly used the language of pragmatism and proportionality when discussing net zero, but campaigners and activists have accused him of lack of interest in climate policy.

Claire Coutinho, writing in The Sun, largely echoed the prime minister’s language when she attacked Labor and said politics needed to “take people with it”.

Coutinho said: “Despite the huge progress this government has made, in the UK we are only responsible for one per cent of global emissions.”

“Simply put, we can’t do this alone, and hard-working families shouldn’t be forced to change their lives or have additional financial burdens placed on them.

“But that’s what Labor doesn’t understand – you can’t punish people to achieve net zero – you have to take people with you.”

The Tory success in the Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-elections in the summer, won largely by a campaign against the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez), has led to some MPs calling on Mr Sunak to cut his net -To weaken or abandon the zero promise.

While Mr Sunak has repeatedly said he is committed to reducing carbon emissions, the awarding of new oil and gas licenses and recent moves to rein in green policies have drawn criticism.

Ms Coutinho said: “I understand that we cannot achieve anything if we simply force people to stop doing the things they want to do, such as going on holiday abroad.”

“To do so would be unconservative and contrary to everything I stand for.

“Our duty as conservatives is to push forward pragmatic policies that take people along.”

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