Sale of new petrol and diesel trucks to be banned in UK ​

Jul 25 | 2021

The sale of new under 26-tonne diesel and petrol trucks are to be banned in the UK by 2035 with larger vehicles following suit in 2040. The UK government has already said it will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 and that it will replace its own fleet of 40,000 cars and vans three years earlier in 2027.

In a statement on 14 July, Transport Minister Grant Shapps said, “It’s not about stopping people doing things – it’s about doing the same things differently.” Decarbonisation is not just some technocratic process. It’s about how we make sure that transport shapes quality of life and the economy in ways that are good."

The UK government has also said it will consult on ways of achieving net zero emissions in aviation, while still allowing people and freight to travel by air without contributing to climate change.

Despite the reduction of greenhouse gasses in recent years, a government report shows that transport remains the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the UK, accounting for 34% in 2019.

COP26 Conference Glasgow

The announcements come ahead of the United Nations COP26 conference being hosted by Britain this November which will see some 30,000 delegates from 197 countries gather in Glasgow to ‘accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change'.

No estimates have been published by the government of the amount of carbon that will be generated by the international delegates travel arrangements, however, the COP26 website reassuringly states that:

COP26 will be a carbon-neutral conference, with sustainability at its core, that will leave a positive legacy. We will meet the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) sustainability requirements for the delivery of COP26.

Through measures including certification to the International Standard for Sustainable Events (ISO20121) and a comprehensive Carbon Management Plan we will demonstrate leadership within the field of sustainable event management relating to environmental, social and economic performance through the lifecycle of COP26.

Cynicism apart, let’s hope the 13-day COP conference is a great success and that the politicians and scientists can come up with, and agree, ways to steer the world away from the Armageddon many are predicting.

Let’s also hope, when it comes to the future of transport, that any proposals will be realistic and the huge cost and practicalities of replacing petrol and diesel powered vehicles will be carefully assessed before they are imposed on business.  What we don’t need is 13 days of idealistic pseudo-scientific waffle, political posturing, and hot air.