The United Kingdom will ban the sale of new cars that run only on fossil fuels in 2030, a move that is designed to phase out polluting vehicles earlier than any other major economy and support the country’s recovery from the pandemic.
“Now is the time to plan for a green recovery with high-skilled jobs that give people the satisfaction of knowing they are helping to make the country cleaner, greener, and more beautiful,” PM Johnson said in a column published in the Financial Times on Tuesday.
The government said sales of new gasoline and diesel cars and vans will end in 2030, though hybrid vehicles can be sold until 2035.
To accelerate sales of cleaner vehicles, the government will spend $1.7 billion on electric vehicle charging points, and nearly $664 million to develop and produce batteries for electric cars. Some $773 million in subsidies will make zero and ultra-low emission vehicles cheaper for people to buy.
The new UK deadline is among the most aggressive in the world. Norway, which has a much smaller economy than Britain and a significant head start in the race to put more electric cars on the road, has said that all new passenger cars and vans sold should be zero-emission vehicles by 2025.
The new date for a ban on new petrol and diesel cars is five years earlier than the 2035 pledge made by Johnson in February.
“This is a shared global challenge — every country in the world needs to take action to secure the future of the planet for our children, grandchildren and generations to come,” Johnson said.
The U.K. is due to host the COP26 global climate conference next year, after a 12-month delay because of the coronavirus pandemic. Britain has also pledged reduce its carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.