UK’s clean air strategy must be ‘urgently firmed up’

UK’s clean air strategy must be ‘urgently firmed up’
Three-fifths of new cars and vans will need to be electric by 2030, if the government is to succeed in meeting legal emissions targets, a new report has warned.

In a stern reminder, the Committee on Climate Change said initiatives to cut greenhouse gasses “need to be firmed up as a matter of urgency” if they are to reach the standard for both 2020 and 2030, as set under UK law.

Its report found the Government's Clean Growth Strategy, published in October, doesn’t go far enough and says manufacturers, as well as housebuilders and oil firms, need to “step up” measures to cut emissions.

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Lord Deben, committee chairman, said that while the strategy has formed a “central part of the Government's economic policy”, more must be done.

While Government plans are currently working towards 30%-70% of new cars (40% of vans) being ultra-low emission by 2030, the committee is pushing for 60% of vehicles to be ultra-low emission by the same date.

As part of measures to see the sale of conventional diesel and petrol cars phased out by 2040, the committee also proposed grants should be available for purchasing electric cars until their prices fall in line with non-electric models.

Mr Deben added that drivers should be offered more advice on using electric cars, such as where and how to charge them and not just be reassured over the frequency of charging points.

He also advised that electric car dealers should be thoroughly educated on the topics of clean air strategy and lowering emissions if they are to continue to increase sales at the required rate.

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He said: “I think that the time has come for us to remind industry in many of these areas they have a real part to play.

“If you're going to sell an electric car your dealers have to be very well aware and understand these things, so training dealers is essential.

“The Government's policies and proposals will need to be firmed up as a matter of urgency – and supplemented with additional measures if the UK is to deliver on its legal commitments and secure its position as an international climate change leader.”

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