Labour has called on the government to end the sale of petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles by 2030 to create jobs, cut carbon emissions and reduce air pollution.
On 17 September, the Shadow Ministers for Climate Change, Transport and Energy wrote to Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, urging him to set out an ambitious plan for a rapid transition to zero emission vehicles or risk further damage to the UK’s car industry and the country’s credibility on the global stage as hosts of COP26. It added that by placing the UK at the forefront of efforts to phase out polluting vehicles, the government would be able to secure significant environmental and public health benefits, while also creating new high-skilled jobs in towns and cities across the country.
It further set out how the UK is falling behind other nations who have already taken a lead in ending the use of fossil fuel cars. It cited California’s Zero Emissions Vehicle Mandate – requiring manufacturers to produce increasing percentages of sustainable vehicles year-on-year – as action being taken abroad, as well as Germany and France, which have significant increased electric vehicle subsidies in response to the economic challenges of the pandemic. France has also introduced a means-tested green scrappage scheme.
Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Matthew Pennycook, said: “It’s time for Ministers to seize this opportunity as part of a world-leading green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, creating good jobs across the country, and generating real momentum for next year’s COP26 climate summit.”