Petrol and diesel car ban brought forward to 2035

4th February 2020

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Will Hutton

A ban on new petrol, diesel and hybrid car sales will be brought forward from 2040 to 2035 at the latest, prime minister Boris Johnson has announced today.

Launching this year's COP26 climate summit at an event in London, Johnson revealed that the ban, subject to consultation, will be brought forward even earlier if feasibly possible.

He was joined by broadcaster David Attenborough and Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte, and called on all nations to strive for net zero emissions ahead of the November summit in Glasgow.

“Hosting COP26 is an important opportunity for the UK and nations across the world to step up in the fight against climate change,“ Johnson said.

“There can be no greater responsibility that protecting our planet, and no mission that global Britain is prouder to serve.

“2020 must be the year we turn the tide on global warming – it will be the year when we choose a cleaner, brighter future for all.“

To support the automobile ban, the government said that it would continue to work with all sectors of industry to accelerate the rollout of zero emission vehicles.

This comes after industry figures showed that registrations of battery electric cars surged to record levels in the UK last year, despite an overall decline in new car sales.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: This government's £1.5bn strategy to make owning an electric vehicle as easy as possible is working – last year, a fully electric car was sold every 15 minutes.“

Friends of the Earth (FoE) said that the government was right to bring forward the ban, but that it should start in 2030, warning that a 2035 target would leave the UK lagging behind on electric cars.

The NGO also called on ministers to pull the plug on plans for environmentally damaging roads and runways, and to end its support for new gas, coal and oil developments.

Meanwhile, Igloo Energy CEO, Matt Clemow, warned that more must be done to make the UK's energy infrastructure green to ensure that the ban has a positive impact on the environment.

This a ban isn't going to solve the problem by itself, he continued. Most electric vehicles are being charged with the dirtiest fuels available. Not only is this detrimental to the planet, it's also wasting drivers' money.

Until 100% of the electricity we use as a country is green, electric vehicles won't be. Therefore the infrastructure has to be improved and more investment put into renewables.

I hope to see this being heavily discussed at the UN's climate change summit in November.

Image credit: ©Shutterstock


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