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UK to Ban Sale of Gas-Powered Vehicles

  • 2018-07-31 17:51
  • 아시아뉴스통신=Ian Maclang 기자
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The United Kingdom has announced that it will ban the sale of new diesel and gasoline cars and vans beginning 2040.


The ban is part of Britain’s plan to reduce air pollution and its effects on people’s health.


Britain’s plan to ban gas-powered vehicles mirrors a similar ban that was recently enacted in France.The measure, which also bans hybrid vehicles, is defended by the British government as a necessary health measure.Poor air quality is the country’s largest environmental risk to public health, the government says, costing businesses $3.5 billion in one recent year.The ban is expected to slow the rise of nitrogen oxide in the air.


“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,” a government spokesman said.


The government also considered a plan under which drivers would pay extra to enter “clean air zones” within the UK.This proposal was tabled as a last resort, as government officials feared voters would consider imposing such charges a raise in taxes.


The government’s clean air plan has been described by environmental lawyers as “much weaker than hoped for.” But Environmental Secretary Michael Gove hopes for a positive reception on the final plan.


The clean-air program calls for local governments to retrofit buses with filters to reduce emissions in accord with EU rules.Local governments have also lagged in altering road layouts, speed bumps, intersections, and other features of the roadways to comply with EU regulations.


The national government is supplying funding to local governments for reprogramming traffic lights to reduce emissions.


In France, the ban on gas-powered vehicles was enabled to help the country meet emissions targets dictated by the Paris climate accord.France unveiled its policy a day after Volvo announced it would make only electric and hybrid cars starting in 2019.


Environmentalists say the French policy, followed quickly by Britain’s ban, marks the beginning of the end for the internal combustion engine.Gas-powered engines have powered the world’s transportation routes for more than a century, wreaking havoc on the environment in the bargain.


But some say it’s too little too late.London Mayor Sadiq Khan says faster, more decisive action is needed on air pollution, which kills 9,000 people annually in London alone.


“The government cannot shy away any longer from the issue of diesel cars clogging up and polluting our cities, and must now provide real solutions, not just gimmicks,” says Areeba Hamid, a clean-air campaigner at Greenpeace. “That means proper clean air zones and funding to support local authorities to tackle illegal and unsafe pollution.”

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