The Prime Minister is bringing forward a ban on UK sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2035.
Boris Johnson will make the announcement tomorrow (Tuesday 4 February 2020) at the launch of the COP26 UN climate talks taking place in Glasgow in November. The ban will also be extended to hybrid vehicles.
In a speech on Britain’s contribution to tackling climate change, Mr Johnson is expected to say the government will consult on bringing forward the planned ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2040 to 2035 – or earlier if feasible.
The move is part of the UK’s target of reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.
The government’s adviser, the Committee on Climate Change, said in May last year that the original phase out date of 2040 was too late. It recommended 2030 as the end date for sales of these petrol or diesel vans and cars.
The AA described the new date as “very challenging”.
Friends of the Earth’s head of policy, Mike Childs, said:
“The government is right to accelerate the phase-out of petrol and diesel cars to curb air pollution and address the climate emergency, but the ban should start in 2030 – not 2035.
“A new 2035 target will still leave the UK in the slow-lane of the electric car revolution and meantime allow more greenhouse gases to spew into the atmosphere.
“If the UK government wants to show real leadership ahead of this year’s climate summit it must also urgently reverse its plans for more climate-wrecking roads and runways – and pull the plug on its support for new gas, coal and oil developments.”
Steve Sapsford, Chair of the Institution of Mechanical Engineer’s Powertrain Systems and Fuels Group said:
“there is not a “one-size-fits all” solution. We are running the risk of assuming that all a vehicle’s GHG emissions are emitted at point of use.
“Whilst that might be where legislation has its current focus, we need to take a more holistic approach including the GHGs associated with vehicle production, use and disposal/recycling.
“Such life-cycle analysis is a technique for quantifying the environmental and human health impacts of a product over its life span and can often be referred to as “cradle-to-grave analysis”.
At tomorrow’s launch, Mr Johnson is also expected to say:
“Hosting COP26 is an important opportunity for the UK and nations across the globe to step up in the fight against climate change.
“There can be no greater responsibility than protecting our planet, and no mission that a 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, greener future for all.”
Updated with response from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers