The British government is going electric– eventually. They have announced plans to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars by 2030. That’s a decade earlier than its previous commitment.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the announcement as part of what he called a “green industrial revolution.” He claims it could create up to 250,000 jobs in energy, transport, and technology. The government said sales of new gas-powered vehicles will end in 2030. However, hybrid gas/electric vehicles can still be sold until 2035.
Automakers have expressed concern about the British government’s target. Some critics claim the previous goal of 2040 was already ambitious. The new 2030 timeline might be entirely unrealistic.
Harnessing Wind Power
The government’s green plans also include investments in hydrogen energy and carbon capture technology. There are also plans to generate enough wind energy to power every home in the U.K. by 2030. However, the British government has drawn criticism from some environmental groups for its plans to also develop a new generation of nuclear power plants.
The environmental push is part of Johnson’s efforts to move beyond the Covid-19 pandemic and Britain’s divisive exit from the European Union. The hope is that the plan will bring new jobs to struggling industrial regions of England.
“Our green industrial revolution will be powered by the wind turbines of Scotland and the North East, propelled by the electric vehicles made in the Midlands, and advanced by the latest technologies developed in Wales, so we can look ahead to a more prosperous, greener future,” said Johnson in Parliament this week.
Net Zero By 2050
The U.K. is due to host the COP26 global climate conference in 2021. (The conference was delayed 12-months due to the pandemic.) Britain has also pledged to reduce its carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. They are lofty goals, but arguably necessary as the threat of climate change continues to loom large over the entire planet.
Greenpeace U.K. said that the “landmark” announcement was a big step forward. However, the environmental group regretted the inclusion of “…speculative solutions, such as nuclear and hydrogen from fossil fuels, that will not be taking us to zero emissions anytime soon…”