Britain to ban the sale of diesel cars from 2040
The hope is that it will act to significantly reduce air pollution levels.
The UK government is set to ban the sale of all new diesel cars from 2040 as part of Environmental Secretary Michael Gove’s new £3 billion Clean Air Initiative.
Health ministers have warned that the UK’s current air pollution levels pose the biggest environmental risk to the public’s well-being, having already cost UK employers £2.7 billion in lost productivity over the last year.
It’s hoped that the scheme will encourage the buying of electric cars which have already seen a huge take-up in the UK.
A draft of Gove’s plan which was seen by several journalists at The Guardian outlined some of the government’s other aims which include retrofitting buses with more environmentally-friendly technology and reprogramming traffic lights to change faster so vehicles aren’t sat idling at them for long period of time.
Although it wasn’t included in the draft, it’s likely that some kind of diesel scrappage scheme (which will offer money to anyone who trades in their diesel vehicle) will be introduced in certain areas.
“Poor air quality is the biggest environmental risk to public health in the UK and this government is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible,” said a government spokesperson.
“That is why we're providing councils with new funding to accelerate development of local plans, as part of an ambitious programme to clean up dirty air around our roads.”
Ministers have also strongly argued for the introduction of so-called Clean Air Zones which vehicles would have to pay to enter, but the government are hesitant to bring-in any kind of act which require more taxation.
Elsewhere in Europe, French president Emmanuel Macron has introduced a similar pledge in order to try and meet the enviromental targets brought up at the Paris climate accord last month.
Source: The Guardian