British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has brought forward the target date to end sales of all new petrol and diesel cars from 2040 to 2035. The ban will now include hybrid vehicles as well, meaning currently that all new vehicles will have to be electric or hydrogen-powered after this date.
He called on other countries around the world to pledge to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, as the UK prepares to host the UN's talks on climate change in Glasgow this November. After last year's UN Climate Conference (COP 25) ended in Madrid without making any significant progress towards concrete national policies to tackle climate change, the pressure will very much be on for Glasgow to be a success.
Mr Johnson said, “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."
He went on to say, “There can be no greater responsibility than protecting our planet, and no mission that a global Britain is prouder to serve."
He also announced that a £1 billion has been allocated to encourage the take-up of electric vehicles from a £2 billion fund the government has agreed to spend on meeting the target for net zero emissions by 2050.
Edmund King, President of the AA expressed doubts over whether there would be sufficient supply of electric vehicles in less than 15 years and whether the charging infrastructure required to make this a reality could be installed in homes, motorways, cities and rural locations within the timescale.
Meanwhile environmental groups complained that whilst targets were being set, little was happening in the way of actions that would lead to any of the targets being met. Whilst 2035 is an improvement on 2040, bringing the ban forward to 2030 would be an even more effective measure.