The United Kingdom is set to follow in the footsteps of France and intends on banning the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040 in a bid to tackle poor air quality.
The Guardian reports that the final plan will be released before the end of the month and according to a government spokesman, it will help resolve the public health concerns surrounding the nation’s air quality, said to cost 2.7 billion pounds in lost productivity each year. Many ministers also believe it is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK.
“Poor air quality is the biggest environmental risk to public health in the UK and this government is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible.
“That is why we are providing councils with new funding to accelerate development of local plans, as part of an ambitious £3bn programme to clean up dirty air around our roads,” a government spokesman said.
Prior to the outright ban, the nation intends on enforcing a number of other measures to tackle air quality, including retrofitting buses and other public transport with cleaner engines. Some suggest that there is support for London’s ‘T-charge‘ levied on the oldest, most polluting vehicles, to be enforced by councils but such laws aren’t thought to be on the table at this stage.