Rishi Sunak insisted he would have “no problem” explaining his scaling back of green policies to his climate-conscious daughters.
The Prime Minister was asked whether he believed his plans to dilute key efforts to tackle the climate crisis would convince his children.
He has previously described his young daughters, Krishna and Anoushka, as the “experts” in his household on climate change.
His announcement has prompted a fierce backlash from green-minded Tories, environmentalists and industry figures.
But Mr Sunak strongly rejected that his actions amounted to “watering down” net-zero targets.
“I think it is absolutely wrong to describe in any way, shape or form what I’m doing today as ‘watering down our targets’,” he said in response to a question describing it as such after his speech in Downing Street.
“If someone thinks that what we’re doing is somehow not sufficient, not ambitious enough, I don’t know what they’d say to pretty much every other country in the world, because we are way out ahead already and continuing to maintain that leadership.
“So I’m very confident that what we’re doing is right, because not only do we have world-leading targets, we’re actually just doing it in a better way that will bring the country along with us and save families thousands of pounds, and there’s nothing ‘watering down’ about that.
“But that’s why I have no problem whatsoever defending it, not just to my daughters.”
He added that they would not be the ones having to bear the consumer cost of existing policies to reach net zero by 2050.
“Quite frankly, it’s not them who are going to have to fork out £10,000” to upgrade their boiler, he said, adding the cost was falling to “families up and down the country right now”.
When he announced plans to “max out” the UK’s oil and gas reserve in the summer, Mr Sunak also said he was confident he could win over his daughters with his argument that the UK could hit the net zero goal while continuing to drill for fossil fuels.
“They’re not eco-zealots.
“They actually, I think, are open to sensible, practical arguments,” he said at the time.