London mayor calls for UK-wide ban on petrol, diesel cars by 2030

June 19, 2018 6:00 PM

LONDON, June 18 (Xinhua) — London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced Monday he plans to call for all petrol and diesel fuelled cars and vans to be banned throughout England and Wales by 2030.
Khan is co-sponsor of a major conference in the capital on Wednesday that will bring together mayors and leaders from major towns and cities representing 20 million people.
Khan’s office said Monday the mayor aims to unite city leaders from England and Wales to call on the British government to ban the sale of new pure diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2030 to tackle the nation’s growing air quality health crisis, bringing forward a current government target of 2040, for a ban.
The call for action will be discussed on Wednesday at a national air quality summit which will see city leaders, Members of Parliament and Environment Secretary Michael Gove discuss plans to improve the country’s air quality.
Currently poor air quality is estimated to contribute to more than 40,000 premature deaths across Britain each year, with emissions from cars and vans estimated to cost 8 billion U.S. dollars annually to the National Health Service (NHS) and society, said the mayor’s office.
“Research has shown that the phasing out of petrol and diesel vehicles would lead to a 30 percent reduction in pollution in 2030, improving health, and potentially boosting the country’s economy by billions by making the UK a global leader in low-emission technology,” added a spokesperson for Khan.
Khan said: “Air pollution is not an isolated problem, it’s a national health crisis. Our country’s filthy air is shortening lives, damaging lungs, and severely impacting on the NHS. That’s why we’re bringing together city leaders from across England and Wales to put this at the top of the agenda.
“We have to take bold action, but while we’re all doing what we can, we need government support to do even more. Banning the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, providing support to deliver Clean Air Zones in cities and introducing a national vehicle renewal scheme will dramatically improve our air quality and our health.”
He said the government needs to match the ambition and help urgently drive forward the improvements, adding: “We simply cannot afford to delay.”
Measures backed by Khan include a modern Clean Air Act that establishes strong air quality limits standards linked to World Health Organisation recommended guidelines, and a targeted national vehicle renewal scheme to replace older polluting vehicles that supports drivers and businesses to change to low-emission vehicles and other sustainable forms of transport.

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