It remains to be seen if this will actually happen, but UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is taking a green stand, albeit one that will benefit his party, China Daily reported.
Johnson announced that Britain will ban the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars from 2035, five years earlier than planned — a decision that could herald the end of over a century of reliance on the internal combustion engine, the report said.
Johnson is seeking to use the announcement to elevate the United Kingdom’s environmental credentials after he sacked the head of a Glasgow United Nations Climate Change Conference planned for November known as COP 26, the report said.
“We have to deal with our CO2 emissions, and that is why the UK is calling for us to get to net zero as soon as possible, to get every country to announce credible targets to get there. That’s what we want from Glasgow,” Johnson said at a launch event for COP 26 at London’s Science Museum, alongside famed naturalist David Attenborough.
“We know as a country, as a society, as a planet, as a species, we must now act.”
The two-week COP 26 summit is seen as a moment of truth for the 2015 Paris Agreement to combat global warming with responsibility for persuading big polluting countries to agree more ambitious emissions cuts falling on the British hosts, the report said.
Britain has pledged to reach net zero by 2050, but Greenpeace UK Head of Politics Rebecca Newsom said Johnson needed to take broader action than cleaning up transport, the report said.
“We need a complete rethink of the way we power our economy, build homes, move around and grow our food,” she said.
Britain’s step amounts to a victory for electric cars that if copied globally could hit the wealth of oil producers, as well as transform the car industry and one of the icons of 20th Century capitalism: the automobile itself.
Countries and cities around the world have announced plans to crack down on diesel vehicles following the 2015 Volkswagen emissions scandal and the European Union is introducing tougher carbon dioxide rules, the report said.
The mayors of Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens have said they plan to ban diesel vehicles from city centers by 2025, the report said.
France is preparing to ban the sale of fossil fuel-powered cars by 2040 and Norway’s parliament has set a non-binding goal that by 2025 all cars should be zero emissions.