LONDON (ICIS)-- The UK government today confirmed it will ban the sale of all new conventional petrol and diesel cars by 2040, as well as introducing a £255m fund for implementing plans to tackle air pollution, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Areas (Defra) said on Wednesday.
Local authorities will be required to provide initial plans for reducing air pollution within eight months, with final plans required by the end of next year.
The authorities will then be allowed to bid for money from the new fund to support those improvements.
The plans can include anything from changing road layout, removing traffic lights and speed humps, upgrading bus fleets, restrictions on vehicles and charges for certain vehicles.
Defra said: “The government is clear that local authorities should exhaust other options before opting to impose charging. Any restrictions or charging on polluting vehicles should be time-limited and lifted as soon as air pollution is within legal limits and the risk of future breaches has passed.”
There will be a consultation in autumn on measures to support motorists, residents and businesses that could be affected by the plans. This could include a targeted scrappage scheme for car and van drivers.
The plan follows a similar announcement made recently by France’s environment minister Nicolas Hulot, in which he said France plans to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.
In June, Norway said that it plans to ban all fossil fuel-based vehicles by 2025, although this has not yet been set into law.
Environment secretary Michael Gove told the UK's public broadcaster BBC today: “We can’t carry on with diesel and petrol cars, not just because of the health problems that they cause but also because the emissions that they cause mean we would accelerate climate change, do damage to our planet and to the next generation.”