The sale of petrol and diesel cars will be banned five years ahead of schedule, under the pressure of climate change. It is one of the points of a new “green” course for England, which will be revealed by Boris Johnson.
The government announced back in 2017, with Theresa May, that it would impose a ban on diesel and gasoline cars from 2040 as part of an effort to combat air pollution. The new Prime Minister is speeding up plans to implement the ban as early as 2035.
The idea was first discussed by Grant Shapps, the transport secretary. It was last October when he indicated that 2035 was a goal he wanted to aim for.
"The government advisory committee on climate change has said that 2035 is a date we should aim for"he said at his party's Conservative conference.
"We need to test these arguments and work in partnership with industry to examine how to proceed."
Ban on petrol and diesel in 2040? Little ambitious.
The report of a joint commission as early as 2018 criticized the 2040 target as lacking "sufficient ambitions" and urged to bring the deadline forward.
"We welcome the government's commitment to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040. However, this target lacks sufficient ambition," reads in the report. "It is too distant to produce a change in industry and local government planning and falls far behind similar commitments by other countries."
Johnson made clear his commitment to the environment, having promised a “clean energy revolution” last year to be achieved using “the power of science, innovation e of technology”As a means of addressing climate change. A milestone to be achieved even 5 years earlier, in 2035.
Air pollution causes around 40.000 premature deaths a year in the UK and is linked to a variety of health problems - from childhood illness to heart disease.
Tomorrow Boris Johnson will set out his government's environmental ambitions ahead of COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in November in the UK. It is still unclear whether there will already be an announcement to end the use of gasoline and diesel by 2035 as part of this plan.
The announcement will come downstream of a small earthquake, with removal by former energy minister and designated head of COP 26 Claire Perry O'Neil. Johnson informed the former Tory congressman of his removal effective immediately. He leaves the position vacant just 10 months before the conference in Glasgow.
A government minister is expected to take on the role, although no names have yet been announced.
Let's wait and see if the Brexit euphoria blows wind also on the "green" sails of the United Kingdom.