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Britain needs bolder action on petrol and diesel

Last year, the UK government committed to ending the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040. That just is not good enough to meet climate change commitments.
Environmental experts now believe we are close to a tipping point in global warming. If we are to meet national and global targets on global warming emissions, we need urgent and effective action. This means governments must make robust and realistic decisions.

 Transport largest emissions source 

Transport is the UK’s largest source of direct carbon emissions. The continued sale of petrol and diesel cars for a further twenty years would mean continuing with increased levels of emissions and pollution far into the future - not just for the next twenty years, but for at least a decade beyond, as people go on using older cars for longer.

If the governments are serious about taking action, then an earlier exit from petrol and diesel is needed.

WWF assessment

A study commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) calculates that a 2030 phase-out could help the UK meet legal air pollution limits, support the Paris Agreement on climate change, whilst securing a bright future for the UK auto industry.

The WWF says while countries across the world raise ambition on electric vehicles and clean transport, the UK Government is aiming for just half of new car sales to be low-emission in 12 years.

This shows a failure of climate leadership and ambition to clean up our air.

“To become a global leader in clean and smart transport, the UK needs to promise bigger and bolder action ahead of the Zero Emission Vehicle Summit in September. A 2030 end date for petrol and diesel vehicles sales would send a strong signal, while supporting around 100,000 UK jobs in electric vehicle production.”

2030 phase out


A 2030 phase out will get us closer to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, bridging roughly half of the gap to the UK’s legally binding 2030 carbon targets and taking 7 million petrol and diesel cars off the road.

Ending the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles a decade earlier is likely to attract new manufacturing investment into electric vehicles helping to add £3bn to the UK economy and create 14,000 jobs in the auto industry.

The social cost of UK air pollution will be slashed by around £300m in 2030, reflecting lower levels of disease, avoided healthcare costs and improved productivity.

Under a 2030 phase-out, the cost of charging an electric car could be under £100 a year by 2030, thanks to smart charging and vehicle to grid, compared to an annual petrol/diesel bill of around £800.





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