With Boris Johnson wanting to take the lead on climate change ahead of COP26 in November, the government has set out its plans for a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ including the phase out of fuel vehicles.
Back in November, Boris Johnson unveiled his ‘Ten Point Plan’ for achieving net zero emissions by 2050. One of the new green initiatives focuses on the decarbonisation of transport, bringing a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 and on new hybrid cars by 2035. Therefore, by 2035 all new cars sold in the UK must be either fully electric or hydrogen-fuelled. According to a report by the Financial Times, this will also come with a £2.8 billion investment in electric vehicles and the installation of electric charging points across the nation.
As reported by the Office for National Statistics, the transport sector is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than any other sector in the UK. What is more, the main source of these emissions are petrol and diesel cars, contributing significantly to the climate crisis.
Green license plates were also introduced in December to distinguish between zero-emission electric and engine-powered cars. With the added benefit of cheaper parking and free driving in low-emission zones, the government hopes the green-striped plates will encourage people to make the switch between fossil-fuelled and zero-emission vehicles.
Though there has been contention regarding the new policy to phase-out petrol and diesel cars – with some arguing that the 2030 target is far too ambitious – the government has pledged nearly £600 million in grants to help local authorities, businesses and homeowners to make the transition to zero emission vehicles. Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has said that the new policy could generate up to 40,000 jobs by 2030.