PM brings forward petrol, diesel and hybrid car ban to 2035 'at the latest'
A ban on selling new petrol, diesel cars and car-derived vans in the UK will be brought forward from 2040 to 2035 "at the latest" Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this morning.
And, in a major change to the policy announced in 2017, the ban will now include hybrids, meaning that only battery-electric or hydrogen fuel-cell electric cars/vans will be allowed.
Speaking alongside Sir David Attenborough as part of the launch for the United Nations COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow in November, he said this year will be a "defining year of climate action" for the planet.
The policy change - which will go out to a public consultation - comes after experts say that 2040 will be too late if the UK wants to achieve its 2050 net-zero emissions target, as it would still leave many conventional cars on the roads after the 2050 deadline.
Mr Johnson said the ban on selling new petrol and diesel cars would come even earlier than 2035, if possible.
Speaking at the the launch event at the Science Museum in London, Sir David Attenborough said he found it "encouraging" that the UK government is launching a "year of climate action".
He said: "It's up to us to put before the nations of the world what needs to be done. Now is the moment."
Mr Johnson added: “Hosting COP26 is an important opportunity for the UK and nations across the globe to step up in the fight against climate change.
“As we set out our plans to hit our ambitious 2050 net zero target across this year, so we shall urge others to join us in pledging net zero emissions.
“There can be no greater responsibility than protecting our planet, and no mission that a global Britain is prouder to serve."
The prime minister added that a "catastrophic addiction" to fossil fuels is "cloaking the planet like a tea cosy."
AA president Edmund King said: “Drivers support measures to clean up air quality and reduce CO2 emissions but these stretched targets are incredibly challenging."
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) CEO Mike Hawes accused the government of "moving the goalposts".
"With current demand for this still expensive technology still just a fraction of sales, it's clear that accelerating an already very challenging ambition will take more than industry investment," he says.
He says the government's plans must safeguard industry and jobs, as well as ensuring current sales of low emission vehicles are not undermined.
The official No. 10 statement is here