There has been talk for a long time of banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars. The plan has been mooted for years, but now appears to be gaining fruition. Especially after it has been announced the ban may come about earlier than previously expected. This comes after the UK government says it plans to prohibit the sale of brand-new diesel, petrol or hybrid vehicles in 2035, instead of five years later, in 2040, as originally intended.
It is being brought forward following the evaluation of experts, who believe, if they waited until 2040 to introduce the ban, the United Kingdom could not meet its goal of being virtually carbon-free by 2050.
The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new date, and the accelerated timetable, at the launch of the 2020 United Nations Climate Change Conference, otherwise known as COP26, due to take place in Glasgow in November.
During the launch, held at London’s Science Museum, Boris Johnson also stated there is a chance the ban could even come before 2035 if they can make it work, where motorists will only be able to purchase electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles; cars or vans.
The plans to bring the target date forward to 2035, subject to consultation, follows warnings from some experts that, if they kept to the original plan, to introduce the ban in 2040, there would still be standard petrol and diesel cars in use after 2050.
The Prime Minister said the commitment to prohibit their sale by the clean-up date was vital. Due to what he called the United Kingdom’s “historic emissions”, where the country almost had a duty to reduce them to zero.
But some green campaigners have criticised the Prime Ministers wording during the launch announcement, where he did say the world was catastrophically addicted to hydrocarbons, but said it resulted in the planet being so-called “swaddled in a tea cosy” of carbon dioxide.
However, a Green Party MP believed it was a poor choice of words, as carbon emissions are responsible for record-breaking rising temperatures and the wildfires in Australia.
On the other hand, some campaigners have welcomed bringing the ban forward, but wonder if it goes far enough, and should they stop selling new diesel and petrol cars in 2030, instead of 2035. Many feel that, during that five-year period, there will still be masse amounts of carbon emissions and greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere, which COP26 is committed to reducing.
It is also ironic, considering the summit is being held in Glasgow, that the Scottish government does not have the authority to ban new diesel or petrol cans. Although, it has revealed plans to phase out their requirement by 2032, partly by increasing the charging network for electric vehicles, amongst other measures.
But, the UK government’s plan, to bring the ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars forward from 2040 to 2035, is still seen by many as a step in the right direction, in the fight against climate change. Where we can all do our part to reduce carbon emissions and help save the planet.