Bri­tain sets end of new gas, diesel cars

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM -

LON­DON — Scram­bling to com­bat in­creas­ing air pol­lu­tion, Bri­tain an­nounced Wed­nes­day that sales of new diesel and gas cars would reach the end of the road by 2040, the lat­est step in Europe’s bat­tle against the dam­ag­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of the in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine.

Bri­tain’s plans match a sim­i­lar pledge made this month by France and are part of a grow­ing global push to curb emis­sions and fight cli­mate change by pro­mot­ing elec­tric cars. Car­mak­ers are also ad­just­ing, with Volvo no­tably say­ing re­cently that it would phase out the in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine in com­ing years and BMW de­cid­ing to build an elec­tric ver­sion of its pop­u­lar Mini car in Bri­tain.

But the shift to elec­tric ve­hi­cles will be a grad­ual one, and the tar­get set by Bri­tain is less am­bi­tious than ef­forts else­where. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s de­ci­sion to with­draw the United States from the Paris cli­mate ac­cord has also dented op­ti­mism.

Bri­tain’s new clean air strat­egy, pub­lished Wed­nes­day, calls for sales of new gas and diesel cars and vans to end by 2040. The gov­ern­ment will also make more than $260 mil­lion avail­able for lo­cal gov­ern­ments to take short-term ac­tion, such as retrofitting buses, to re­duce air pol­lu­tion.

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