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Government confirms zero emissions target

  Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The Government has now re-affirmed its commitment for almost all cars and vans on UK roads to be completely zero emission by 2050.

The UK was one of 13 international members of the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Alliance to sign a commitment as part of a climate summit in Paris, with the aim being to promote cleaner motoring as well as slashing transport emissions. 

Other members to agree included Germany, Holland, Norway and the US State of California.  The targets also include a commitment to make all passenger vehicle sales zero emission by the 2050 deadline.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said:

“The UK already has the largest market for ultra-low emission vehicles in the EU, and the fourth largest in the world and today’s pledge reaffirms our commitment to ensuring almost every car and van is a zero emission vehicle by 2050.

“Electric cars are greener and cheaper to run and we are making them more affordable, spending more than £600 million between 2015 and 2020 to support the uptake and manufacturing of ultra-low emission vehicles here in the UK.

“By leading international efforts on this issue, we are playing our part in helping achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions of more than 1 billion tonnes per year across the world by 2050.”

The ZEV Alliance was first formed in September 2015, with the aim of helping to increase uptake of greener vehicles through international co-operation.

Other members of the Alliance include Germany, The Netherlands and Norway as well as the US States of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Philippa Oldham, the head of transport and manufacturing at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said:

“The Government has set an ambitious and admiral target, but it is easy for long-term targets to be set by politicians who won’t be in office by 2050.

“It is imperative that this is followed by a clear and enforceable roadmap on how it is going to be achieved.  

“Not only do we need greater research and development spending to drive down the cost of low carbon vehicles, and improve their performance. It is critical that we look at the infrastructure supporting these vehicles as those that use electricity will need to have zero carbon electricity to charge them up to be truly carbon neutral.”

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