PM launches UN Climate Summit in the UK

James Marshall
February 4, 2020

The government says it has a £1.5bn (Dh7.17bn) strategy dedicated to making owning a fully electric vehicle as easy as possible.

At EU level, calls for banning new petrol and diesel vehicles are getting louder.

The ban, which Government advisers the Committee on Climate Change have called for by as early as 2030, will also include hybrid vehicles for the first time.

As part of the UK's moves to meet its legal goal to reach net zero by 2050, the government will consult on bringing forward a planned ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040 to 2035 - and earlier if feasible.

Boris Johnson is launching the COP26 talks, to take place in November in the United Kingdom, with a speech setting out Britain's stall as a leader on tackling climate change.

Denmark announced on Tuesday (2 October) that it will ban the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines by 2030 and hopes to have 1 million electric and hybrid cars on the roads by then.

Johnson's launch of COP26 was marred by a stinging attack on the prime minister by the summit's former head Clare O'Neill who was sacked from the post last week.

"The prime minister will use the speech [at the COP26 summit] to call for global efforts to reach net zero as early as possible through investment in cleaner, greener technology, preservation of our natural habitat and measures to improve resilience to climate change impact".

Johnson will urge other countries to work with Britain to achieve zero emissions by 2050 by investing in cleaner technologies and protecting natural habitats.

O'Neill has since claimed that Johnson has shown a "huge lack of leadership and engagement" over COP26, with the Guardian suggesting that she feels he does not understand the issue of climate change.

"This is my number one priority, and we will raise our ambition in this year of climate action, including with new plans to decarbonise every sector, enabling a greener future for all our children", Leadsom said.

Countries are expected to deliver more ambitious domestic plans for cutting greenhouse gases by 2030 - as current proposals aren't enough to prevent risky temperature rises.

She added that the UK's efforts on climate change were now "somewhere around the levels of league one".

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: "This government's £1.5bn strategy to make owning an electric vehicle as easy as possible is working - previous year alone, a fully electric auto was sold every 15 minutes".

Pressure is also on countries to set out long-term plans for cutting emissions, with the science now clear that the world must reduce greenhouse gases to zero in a matter of decades to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

"Drivers support measures to clean up air quality and reduce Carbon dioxide emissions but these stretched targets are incredibly challenging", said Edmund King, the president of the group.

"More electric vehicles (EVs) will also require a great deal of investment in charging infrastructure - particularly for those who rely on on-street parking outside their homes".

He urged the government to cut Value-Added Tax on electric vehicles to make them more affordable.

The UN climate talks in November are the most important since the Paris Agreement to curb global warming was secured in 2015.

The Government had previously announced they would end the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles from 2040 but would still allow the sale of hybrid vehicles that had a zero-emission capability.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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