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The UK moves up deadline to ban the sale of combustion-engine vehicles

The UK moves up deadline to ban the sale of combustion-engine vehicles


The ban begins in 2030

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World Leaders Gather For United Nations Climate Summit
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at the United Nations (UN) Climate Action Summit on September 23, 2019 in New York City. 
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The United Kingdom will ban the sale of new combustion-engine vehicles by 2030, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today. It will also ban the sale of new hybrid cars by 2035. Johnson made the announcement tonight as part of a new ten-point plan for a “green industrial revolution.”

This is the second time Johnson has moved up the deadline. The original plan was to stop sales of petrol and diesel-powered vehicles by 2040. Back in February, Johnson moved the target to 2035. He’s come under increasing pressure to crack down on gas-guzzling cars in order to meet the UK’s broader goal of eliminating emissions contributing to climate change by 2050. 

“Although this year has taken a very different path to the one we expected, the UK is looking to the future and seizing the opportunity to build back greener,” Johnson said in an emailed statement released to the press. “The recovery of our planet and of our economies can and must go hand-in-hand.”

Speeding up the transition to all electric vehicles puts the UK ahead of much of the pack when it comes to other governments’ pledges to phase out cars running on fossil fuels. France has a goal of ending the sale of new gas-guzzlers by 2040. California recently made a pledge to do so by 2035. Norway has a more ambitious goal of ending new sales by 2025. 

The “green industrial revolution” Johnson laid out for the UK includes a broad range of initiatives to spur economic growth and address climate change. He also plans to cut transportation emissions by investing in public transportation and researching ways to make planes and ships less polluting. The plan also includes efforts to ramp up carbon-free energy, including offshore wind, hydrogen, and nuclear energy. The entire plan will cost £12 billion of government investment ($15.9 billion USD).