The change comes after experts said 2040 would be too late if the UK wants to achieve its target of emitting virtually zero carbon by 2050. Boris Johnson unveiled the policy as part of a launch event for a United Nations climate summit in November. He said 2020 would be a “defining year of climate action” for the planet.
About a third of CO2 emissions in the UK come from transport. So the ban on conventional car sales will certainly help move the UK towards the net-zero target the government announced in 2019. The Committee on Climate Change, which advises government, said if other countries followed the UK, there was a 50-50 chance of staying below the recommended temperature rise of 1.5C by 2100. This is considered the threshold for dangerous climate change. However, banning new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars won’t be enough on its own. The government will also need to tackle the emissions coming from energy generation. These are almost as high as from transport and come from things such as industry and people’s homes.