Britain Bans New Gasoline Cars, Environmentalists Mad They Didn’t Go Further


By Andrew Follett

U.K. officials proposed a ban on new gasoline or diesel cars by 2040 as a way to reduce air pollution and fight global warming.

U.K. Environment Minister Michael Gove announced a $3.9 billion air pollution plan on Wednesday, which included the ban on fossil-fueled cars. But environmental groups say the proposals don’t go far enough.

“While this plan makes the right headline-grabbing noises, in reality it means that children across the U.K. will continue to be exposed to harmful air pollution for years to come, with potentially irreversible impacts,” Areeba Hamid, an environmental activist at Greenpeace UK, said in a statement.

“Providing a long term vision is not enough, (Michael) Gove still needs protect our health right now from toxic fumes polluting our streets,” Hamid said.

This is merely the most recent moratorium on gasoline powered cars. France enacted a similar 2040 ban earlier this month. Additionally, Norway’s leading political parties reached an agreement to ban new petrol powered cars by 2025.

Industry groups are worried that outright bans on new gasoline cars could undermine the British economy and kill hundreds of thousands of jobs.

“Outright bans risk undermining the current market for new cars and our sector which supports over 800,000 jobs across the U.K., we could undermine the U.K.’s successful automotive sector if we don’t allow enough time for the industry to adjust,” Mike Hawes, chief executive of the U.K.’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said in a press statement. “Currently demand for alternatively fueled vehicles is growing but still at a very low level as consumer have concern over affordability, range and charging points.”

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