Boris Johnson will today propose bringing forward the end date for selling new petrol and diesel vehicles in the UK by five years – from 2040 to 2035.
Helen Clarkson, CEO of the international non-profit The Climate Group, comments: “We are glad to see a more ambitious target from the UK government.
“However, we believe that this could still be sooner – and that to be a global leader, especially post-Brexit, a 2030 phase-out commitment is required; without this, we risk being out of step with our international peers.
“Our business campaign for the 100% adoption of electric vehicles by 2030, EV100, has 62 corporate members, many of which are British, including AstraZeneca, BT, Centrica, Foxtons, Mitie, RBS, SSE and Unilever. Businesses are showing what is possible and The Climate Group would love to see this level of ambition matched.”
Through EV100, the UK has the second-highest number of corporate fleet vehicles committed to switching to electric, after Germany. Government policy must be strong and consistent to accelerate this transition, and to help the UK become a world leader on electric vehicles.
The UK Prime Minister will make the announcement at the official launch of COP26, the UN climate conference due to be hosted by the British government in Glasgow in November. As transport is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, ending the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 would send a powerful signal of the UK’s commitment to lead on climate action in the run-up to the conference.
So far, eight countries have already committed to more ambitious phase-out dates than the UK, while Scotland has had a 2032 phase-out date for new petrol and diesel vehicles in place since 2017.