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UK to ban sale of petrol and diesel engines by 2035

Petrol ban: Boris Johnson has been a long-time advocate for the electric vehicle.

Boris Johnson to outline ambitious plan to world leaders in London today

5 Feb 2020

BRITISH Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been met with stern opposition from the English automotive industry after he announced plans this week to bring forward the proposed “end to the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles” to 2035 – including hybrids.


The tough stance will be outlined in Mr Johnson’s address to the UN today when he launches the COP26 climate conference in London, calling on other world leaders to do the same.


“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 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.”


While 2035 may be the new deadline – brought forward by five years from 2040 – the British Government has confirmed that an even earlier cut-off date could be on the cards depending on if a faster transition is feasible.


According to British transport secretary Grant Shapps, an electric vehicle was shifted every 15 minutes in the UK last year – a direct result of the government’s £1.5b ($A2.9b) strategy to make owning an electric vehicle “as easy as possible”.


Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) – one of Britain’s leading industry bodies – chief executive Mike Hawes accused the government of moving the goalposts for both consumers and the industry given its strategy is due to end in 60 days and described the UK’s charging network as “woefully inadequate”.


“Manufacturers are fully invested in a zero emissions future, with some 60 plug-in models now on the market and 34 more coming in 2020,” he said.


“However, with current demand for this still expensive technology still just a fraction of sales, it’s clear that accelerating an already very challenging ambition will take more than industry investment.”


Mr Hawes also said the government had to be careful to not undermine the current sales of low-emission vehicles, such as hybrids, which have been designed and built to meet current global climate change goals.


Following on from this week’s COP26 conference and the upcoming Convention on Biological Diversity, world leaders are due to meet again later this year to agree on a new global plants and wildlife protection framework.

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