Boris Johnson Government
The United Kingdom will ban gasoline and diesel vehicles from 2035
The Boris Johnson Government has decided to advance the ban on the sale of vehicles with gasoline and diesel engines by five years. As of 2035, the manufacturers of these cars will no longer be able to offer them in the United Kingdom. The veto also includes hybrid vehicles, which combine combustion engine and an electric battery. In this case, however, Downing Street shows more caution and suggests that it could review the decision after a period of consultation.
"There is no greater responsibility than to protect our planet, or a mission that a global United Kingdom is not more proud to undertake. 2020 will be the year we turn the tide of climate change. It will be the year we finally choose a Cleaner and greener future for all, "Johnson said Tuesday during the London launch event at COP26, the climate change conference to be held next November in the Scottish city of Glasgow.
The British Government lives its first months with a euphoria that leads it to make great announcements before they are a consummated decision. Downing Street has admitted Tuesday that it will still be necessary to analyze the measure with the car industry and listen to its contributions. Especially, in the matter of hybrid vehicles. "Manufacturers are spending billions on developing state-of-the-art hybrids that already have a zero degree of emissions on many routes, and the government intends to ban them as well. The measure can be counterproductive, because it will convince many drivers to keep their current more polluting vehicles instead of buying a new alternative, "said Edmund King, president of the UK Motorists Association.
"This government has designed a strategy valued at almost 1.8 billion euros to stimulate the sale of electric vehicles, and has proven its effectiveness. Last year one of these cars was sold every fifteen minutes," said Transport Minister Grant Shapps.
While it is true that sales figures have skyrocketed - in 2019 37,850 electric cars were sold in the United Kingdom, double that of the previous year -, the new ones represent only 1.6 of the new sales, and 0, 2 of the country's mobile park.
Environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth have described Johnson's decision as ambitious, and believe that his announced enthusiasm does not correspond to the much more drastic measures taken by other countries. "The Government is right to accelerate the deadlines for the disappearance of gasoline and diesel vehicles, but the ban should have been advanced by 2030 and not by 2035. The new objective places the United Kingdom in the slow lane of the electric car revolution," said Mike Childs, the head of the new policy department of the organization.
The European Commission, in the normative design against climate change on the table, set 2040 as the date for the end of sales of new combustion cars. Spain, in its draft climate change law, sets the same date. However, within the EU there are some countries that push to advance that date. And, within Spain, some communities (like the Balearic Islands) also want to veto these types of engines before 2040.
Boris Johnson, like many other political leaders, has clung to the flag of the fight against climate change almost with the fervor of the convert, and uses it as another example of his Government's great plans to relaunch the UK economy in the post Brexit era. The commitment to jointly organize with the Government of Italy the next climate change summit (COP26) in Glasgow was a project inherited from its predecessor in Downing Street, Theresa May. Johnson has enthusiastically embraced the initiative, but his team's resolving modes have begun to cause problems.
In the first place, for the struggle with the Scottish Government to monopolize the prominence of the event. And secondly, because of the bad ways with which his main advisor and star guru, Dominic Cummings, has dismissed Claire O'Neill, who was Minister of Energy in the Governments of David Cameron and May, from the COP26 presidency. , and main promoter of the commitment to organize the summit in the United Kingdom.