SMMT Speaks Out Against UK Banning All Combustion Engine Vehicles By 2035

James Marshall
February 4, 2020

The UK is to now bring forward the end to the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles, including hybrids, to 2035, or earlier if a faster transition is feasible, subject to consultation.

The U.K. isn't alone in its efforts.

Meanwhile, SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes called on the government to demonstrate how it would fulfil its ambitions sustainably and in a way that didn't undermine sales of low-emission technologies, including popular hybrids, all of which he said were "essential to deliver air quality and climate change goals now".

"Unless we break this trend now and start sustained reduction in global emissions with a clear net-zero landing zone by 2050 or shortly afterwards, we will be dealing with unprecedented climate conditions and vast economic and human consequences within decades, not centuries".

Main picture: Boris Johnson and Sir David Attenborough at the Science Museum at today's launch of the key climate talks.

The Prime Minister will today, Tuesday 4 February, launch the next United Nations climate conference COP26, joined by Sir David Attenborough and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at an event in central London.

Ms O'Neill added that the Government needed to collaborate internationally on climate change and said: "To do that will require a whole of government reset and for your team to move the vast and immediate challenge of climate recovery to the top of the Premier League of their priorities from where it is now - stuck currently somewhere around the middle of League One". But since becoming prime minister, he's expressed enthusiasm for leading on the topic. Johnson refused to give Sturgeon a role in the November Climate Summit and was considering moving the event to the English countryside.

She also said she had been told that "the Scottish government has absolutely behaved disgracefully and has been contracting buildings from the COP site, for example, that should absolutely be made available to the conference". Asked whether Johnson understands climate change, he replied: "We have the most ambitious climate program of any government on Earth".

"It's so encouraging the present government have declared this year, the year not of talking about it, not of alarming people, not of warning, but of action", he said.

At this point the Prime Minister replied: 'You'll be there, 2050 is nothing, it's just around the corner'.

Ms O'Neill went on to allege that there was a "complete stand-off between the two governments, and that her suggestion had been that we "need everybody in" and that the "playground politics, the yah-boo of this, has got to stop".

But the U.K. government's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions was questioned by the woman who was appointed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to head a United Nations' global climate summit - and then was sacked last week.

It follows reports that Mr Cameron last week hailed his former Eton and Oxford contemporary as a "visionary" leader who would become a "brilliant" prime minister "as long as he carries on being well behaved".

'The UK is woefully underprepared for vehicle electrification, is broadly ignoring marine, aviation, industrial and domestic combustion, and needs to really incentivise consumers and industry to change their behaviour. "2020 must be the year we turn the tide on global warming - it will be the year when we choose a cleaner, greener future for all".

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