Sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be phased out by 2030, Boris Johnson has confirmed as he set out plans for a “green industrial revolution”.
The move brings the ban on new conventional cars and vans forward, though the sale of some hybrid vehicles will be allowed until 2035.
It aims to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles to cut climate emissions and local air pollution, as part of the 10-point plan to boost jobs and drive the shift towards cutting emissions to net zero by 2050.
The Prime Minister outlined new investment of £1.3bn to accelerate the rollout of charge points in homes, streets, and on motorways, to make electric vehicles easier to charge up, and £582m in grants for those buying zero or ultra-low emission vehicles to help reduce the costs.
Nearly £500m will be spent in the next four years for the development and mass-scale production of electric vehicle batteries, helping to boost manufacturing bases including in the Midlands and North East, he said.
The Government will also launch a consultation on the phase out of new diesel HGVs to clean up freight transport, though no date has been set.
Elsewhere in the ten-point plan, there are moves to have the UK’s first town entirely heated by hydrogen by the end of the decade, a renewed push on nuclear power and support for restoring nature and for walking and cycling.
Johnson, who has already highlighted plans to power every home in the country by offshore wind within 10 years as part of his vision, said the moves would support up to 250,000 jobs.
He will meet with businesses on Wednesday to set out planned regulatory changes and discuss their contributions.
The UK has a legal target to cut greenhouse gases to net zero by 2050, requiring huge cuts to emissions and any remaining pollution from hard-to-treat sectors such as aviation “offset” by measures such as planting trees.
There is also pressure on the UK to set out ambitious action to tackle the climate crisis as hosts of the United Nations Cop26 summit which was delayed by the pandemic and is now taking place in Glasgow in November 2021.
The move to bring forward the phase out of petrol and diesel cars comes in the wake of guidance from the Government’s advisory Committee on Climate Change which said it should be implemented by 2032 at the latest.
The committee has also called for greater action in other areas such as cutting the carbon from heating homes, as the UK is off track to meet its climate-tackling goals.
Johnson said: “Although this year has taken a very different path to the one we expected, I haven’t lost sight of our ambitious plans to level up across the country.
“My ten-point plan will create, support and protect hundreds of thousands of green jobs, whilst making strides towards net zero by 2050.
“Our green industrial revolution will be powered by the wind turbines of Scotland and the North East, propelled by the electric vehicles made in the Midlands and advanced by the latest technologies developed in Wales, so we can look ahead to a more prosperous, greener future.”
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