Britain to Ban Sale of New Gas Cars by 2035

“We know as a country, as a society, as a planet, as a species, we must now act.”

Boris Johnson Announces End to Gas Car Sales in Britain at COP26 Launch
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking at the COP26 launch event.
Chris J Ratcliffe-WPA Pool/Getty

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been called England’s Donald Trump, but while that has proven to be oversimplified, on Tuesday the U.K leader drew the most distinct line yet between himself and his American counterpart. 

At a launch event for the climate-change conference COP26, Johnson announced that Britain will ban the sale of new gas, diesel and hybrid cars by 2035, if not earlier, as Reuters reports.

“We have to deal with our CO2 emissions, and that is why the UK is calling for us to get to net zero as soon as possible, to get every country to announce credible targets to get there — that’s what we want from Glasgow,” said Johnson, referring to COP26, the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference which will be held in Scotland this November.

Johnson’s insistence on quickly getting to net zero emissions aligns with the goal of banning gas vehicles by 2035, as the previously announced goal was 2040. Also, the prime minister didn’t wag his finger at anyone in particular, but by saying “every country” needs to announce better climate-change plans, he’s essentially calling out the United States and other major polluters. 

During COP25, which took place in December, there were two U.S. delegations, one which represented the Trump administration’s focus on protecting business interests (though no high-ranking officials were sent) and one which consisted of “lawmakers, city and state officials, plus private sector and educational leaders” who wanted to show the world the U.S. was taking climate change seriously even if the president wasn’t. The U.S. is currently in the yearlong process of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement on climate change.

But Johnson had choice words for those unwilling to set ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: “We know as a country, as a society, as a planet, as a species, we must now act.”

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