New petrol and diesel cars banned from sale after 2030 under government’s green plan
Written by Gavin on 18th November 2020
New petrol and diesel cars will be banned from sale after 2030, the government has announced.
The ban had been planned for 2040 but has been brought forward under Boris Johnson’s 10-point plan to tackle climate change.
The plan also includes producing enough offshore wind to power every home, developing the first town heated entirely by hydrogen by the end of the decade, and developing the next generation of small and advanced nuclear reactors.
Scroll down to see the full 10-point plan
Currently fewer than 1% of cars on UK roads are powered entirely by electricity, so the prime minister’s plan to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will require an enormous investment in the infrastructure needed for electric vehicles.
Edmund King, president of the Automobile Association, told Sky News only about 6% of local authorities have installed on-street charging facilities in residential areas.
Without a commitment to developing the right infrastructure, the plan was “optimistic”, he said.
“Everyone wants to move to electric vehicles but you can’t just pick a date out of the air. We need better infrastructure particularly for the third of people who can’t charge at home.
“We also need a better supply of cars and they need to be affordable.”
The prime minister claims that his plan for a green industrial revolution will create and support up to 250,000 British jobs.
The government says it will spend £12bn on the plan but analysts have told Sky News only £4bn of that is new money.
It includes £1.3bn to accelerate the roll-out of charge points for electric vehicles in homes, streets and on motorways.
Some £582m will help people afford zero or ultra-low emission vehicles and nearly £500m is to be spent in the next four years on the development and mass production of electric vehicle batteries.
The prime minister said: “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.”
And Business Secretary Alok Sharma told Sky News’ Kay Burley: “This is a package which is part of turbocharging the green industrial revolution, levelling up across our country.
“It is £12bn of public money which will then leverage in three times as much from the private sector and, of course, support and create high-value added jobs – around 250,000 jobs by 2030.
“If you look at the UK, we are a leader when it comes to green growth.
“Since 1990 we have managed to grow our economy by 75% and at the same time cut our emissions by 43%, so we are world-leading in this area.”
Labour said the announcement fell short of what is required, but the independent Committee on Climate Change, which advises the government how to get to net zero, has welcomed the plan.
Chris Stark, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change, said the prime minister’s plan was “a bold statement of ambition” but added: “What’s missing is the road map to achieving it.”
The 10 points in the plan are:
- Offshore wind: Harnessing enough offshore wind to power every home, quadrupling production to 40GW by 2030, supporting up to 60,000 jobs
- Hydrogen: Generating 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 and developing the first town heated entirely by hydrogen by the end of the decade
- Nuclear: Promoting nuclear as a clean energy source and developing the next generation of small and advanced reactors, which could support 10,000 jobs
- Electric vehicles: Accelerating the transition to electric vehicles, and transforming infrastructure to support electric vehicles
- Public transport, cycling and walking: Making cycling and walking more attractive and investing in zero-emission public transport
- Jet Zero and greener maritime: Supporting research projects for zero-emission planes and ships
- Homes and public buildings: Making buildings greener, warmer and more energy efficient, creating 50,000 jobs by 2030, and installing 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028
- Carbon capture: Technology to capture and store harmful emissions away from the atmosphere, removing 10MT of carbon dioxide by 2030, equivalent to all emissions of the industrial Humber today
- Nature: Protecting and restoring the natural environment, planting 30,000 hectares of trees every year, creating and retaining thousands of jobs
- Innovation and finance: Developing technologies needed for the plan and making the City of London the global centre of green finance
The UK is due to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in a year’s time.
The country is aiming to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
Analysis: Britain faced two choices: Toughen its climate goals or get left behind
Transport accounts for around a third of the UK’s emissions and so a compulsory switch to completely electric vehicles by 2030 instead of 2040 is huge.
It will put the UK ahead of France and Spain which ban them in 2040, but in line with Ireland and the Netherlands.
The only country with a more ambitious target is Norway which will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2025.
So while the stand out point in the plan by Boris Johnson is grabbing positive headlines, other countries are already making big strides to tackle the climate and propel green investment, and Britain risks getting left behind if it doesn’t make bold pledges too.
The plan hits transport, energy, home insulation and technology but is weakest on nature-based solutions.
There’s a lot riding on this – and not just the future of the planet.
The UK hosts the landmark COP26 climate conference next year in Glasgow, and Britain has to not only talk the talk but walk the walk on ditching high carbon activities.
Just a short time ago, it looked like Britain was the default global leader on climate change.
The prime minister’s 10-point plan has been much anticipated but you do wonder if the climate promises of US President-elect Joe Biden focused minds at Number 10.
And the recent flush of enthusiasm to commit to net zero by China and a host of other nations means countries can’t just lack drive but will get left behind or even out in the cold if they don’t sign up to the club of climate ambition.
It’s time for Britain to put its money where it’s mouth is. But the 10-point plan sends the message the future is low carbon and the green snowball is on a roll.