UK mayors call for 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles
City mayors representing around 20 million people across England and Wales are joining forces to urge the government to bring forward a ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040 to 2030.
The cross-party group will put their case forward to environment secretary Michael Gove at a summit tomorrow in a bid to improve the country’s growing air quality health crisis.
Leaders from cities including London, Manchester, Liverpool and Cardiff will take part in the call to action, reiterating their commitment to working together to reduce emissions.
Mayor of London, Sadiq 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 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.”
Poor air quality is estimated to contribute to more than 40,000 premature deaths across the country each year, with car and van emissions responsible for £6bn in annual health and societal costs.
However, research has shown that phasing out petrol and diesel vehicles would lead to a 30% reduction in pollution in 2030, improving health and potentially boosting the economy by billions.
The UK mayors will also call on the government to introduce a new Clean Air Act that establishes strong air quality limits standards linked to World Health Organization guidelines.
A new independent statutory body would enforce this, while the leaders will also recommend an enhanced Clean Air Fund to invest in cleaner buses, taxis and alternatives to car travel.
In addition, a targeted 'national vehicle renewal scheme' will be proposed, supporting drivers and businesses to transition to low-emission vehicles and other sustainable forms of transport.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “We have all been too complacent about the public health crisis of people breathing in illegal, polluted air.
“It is damaging health and shortening lives, particularly in our poorest communities. It is only radical action on this scale that will tackle this problem and save lives.”
Image credit: iStock
Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM