Electric cars are the future
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Britain will ban sales of new gasoline and diesel cars by 2030, ten years ahead of schedule, under pressure from Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take more ambitious action against climate change.
The move was praised as a “milestone” by Greenpeace and “undoubtedly challenging” by the CBI group of companies. The move will be combined with £ 1.3 billion in charging infrastructure for new cars and £ 582 million in grants for the purchase of electric cars.
“Bold moves in electric transport, which is by far the largest climate-friendly move by any UK government since accelerating the end of coal, will make waves overseas,” said Jonathan Marshall of the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit, one in the UK resident non-government profit, in a statement.
In a concession to automakers, the government will prohibit the sale of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which can typically run several tens of kilometers on battery power before switching to a conventional engine, but not until 2035. It was found to be in real life emits two and a half times more carbon dioxide than laboratory tests.
Johnson also backed nuclear power but did not confirm funding for a new nuclear power plant in Sizewell, Suffolk, proposed by French state-owned company EDF Energy. The plan called for £ 525 million for nuclear reactors, mostly those much smaller than the current ones, which a Rolls-Royce-led consortium used to help build them.
In a statement, the UK government said the 10-point climate plan would create 250,000 jobs and combined the measures with Johnson’s election promise to “level out” neglected regions of the UK. The new guidelines come just weeks before the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement on December 12th. Three days earlier, on December 9th, the government’s climate advisors will set a new CO2 emissions target for the mid-2030s.
Other highlights of Johnson’s plan include measures to drastically increase the production of low-carbon hydrogen, which is seen as key to decarbonizing heavy industry and other sectors. Its goal is to have an electrolyser capacity of 5 gigawatts for the production of hydrogen by 2030, compared to an EU-wide target of 40 GW by the same date. There are also proposals for a UK “hydrogen city” by 2025 that will provide tens of thousands of households with fuel for heating and cooking.
Another new goal is the installation of 600,000 heat pumps – an electrified, environmentally friendly alternative to gas boilers – in homes and public buildings every year by 2028. Efforts to clean up heavy industry have also been stepped up with an additional £ 200 million for carbon capture and storage.
“My 10-point plan will create, support and protect hundreds of thousands of green jobs and move toward net zero by 2050,” Johnson said in a statement. John Gummer of the Climate Change Committee, who advises the government, said: “I am very pleased with the breadth of the Prime Minister’s commitment.”
Other items included the repetition of an earlier announcement to quadruple offshore wind power capacity by 2040 and a renewal of the British Conservative Party’s tree-planting promise. The plan also includes broad support for more walking and cycling, work on green planes and ships, and research into innovation and funding.
Ed Miliband, shadow trade secretary, said in a statement that only some of the funds included in the plan are new, arguing that they are “well below requirements”. Full details of the plan will be released on November 18th.
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