Britain will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035, five years earlier than previously planned, Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson announce today as he launches a major United Nations climate summit due to take place in Glasgow in November.
Mr Johnson launched the UN’s Conference of the Parties known as COP26, a two-week conference seen as a moment of truth for the 2015 UN sponsored Paris Agreement to combat global warming, at an event alongside Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, whose government will co-host the high profile UN meeting, and broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough.
“Hosting COP26 is an important opportunity for the UK and nations across the globe to step up in the fight against climate change,” Mr Johnson said in a statement released by his office ahead of the speech in London and reported by Reuters Newsagency.
“As we set out our plans to hit our ambitious 2050 net zero target across this year, so we shall urge others to join us in pledging net zero emissions.”
Reuters reports Mr Johnson called for international efforts to reach net zero as early as possible, including through investment in cleaner technology, preservation of natural habitats and measures to improve resilience to the impact of climate change.
“Hosting COP26 is an important opportunity for the UK and nations across the globe to step up in the fight against climate change,” Mr Johnson said.
“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.”
Mr Johnson and Mr Conte both called on governments around the world to step up efforts to reach net zero emissions as early as possible through investment in cleaner, greener technologies, preservation of natural habitats, and measures to improve resilience to climate impacts.
The government said that, subject to consultation, it planned to bring forward an end to the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans to 2035, or earlier if a faster transition was possible.
Reuters reports it also said it would include hybrids.
Cities and countries around the world have announced plans to crack down on diesel vehicles in the wake of the 2015 Volkswagen emissions scandal and the EU is introducing tougher carbon dioxide rules.
However, diesel and petrol models still account for 90 per cent of sales in Britain, and some prospective buyers of greener models are worried about the limited availability of charging points, the range of certain models and the cost.
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