George Osborne told Tory party conference delegates that business interests would come before cutting carbon emissions.
He said, “We are not going to save the planet by putting the country out of business.”
He added that environmental regulations and “red tape” had landed firms with excessive costs.
Meanwhile the government has confirmed a new generation of nuclear power plants.
The announcement came days after plutonium was discovered outside the disaster‑hit Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.