Environment secretary, Michael Gove, announced that by 2040 new Petrol and Diesel cars will be banned. This is a £3 billion initiative to combat the issue of Air Pollution and climate change. Approximately £255 million has been set aside for local councils to decrease the emission of greenhouse gasses (GHGs). The government have said that the sum stated will be generated later from taxing diesel vehicles, although the details will be released later this year.

The move is a positive step after it is estimated that air pollutions contributes to 40,000 deaths per year with the UK one of the worst offenders when it comes to air pollution.

Problems despite the positive step

The problem with this move is that there isn’t currently a plausible replacement for petrol and diesel run vehicles, with battery technology currently limited which leaves electric run cars currently not a viable option. Other technologies such as hydrogen fuel cell are in their early stages and continued government cuts on environmentally friendly measures and technologies have hindered progress within the sector.

The government have caused a serious own-goal despite the positive move because they haven’t further invested into renewable technology. They have cut the industry in favour of fracking, which will prove to be the governments undoing. There needs to be significant investment into the country’s infrastructure, battery and storage technology along with real incentive for investment from the private sector parallel to public investment. The £3 billion doesn’t make up for the lack of investment previous, nonetheless this is still a positive step from the government.