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UK Embarks On Accelerating Shift Towards Electric Cars In Attempt To Ban Fuel Cars

Young woman charging electric car

The UK announcement comes amid signs of an accelerating shift towards electric cars instead of petrol and diesel ones both at home and abroad.New diesel and petrol cars and vans will soon be banned in the UK from 2040 in an attempt to tackle air pollution, the government is set to announce.

Air Pollution is the deadliest form of pollution, killing millions of people each year, according to a new study.The Cost of Air Pollution, a joint report by the World Bank and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), also highlights the economic toll, showing that premature deaths linked to air pollution cost the global economy hundreds of billions of dollars in lost labour income.

Also the UK Ministers will soon be unveiling a £255m fund to help councils tackle pollution from diesel vehicles, as part of £3bn spending on air quality.BBC’s says,The government will publish a court-mandated clean air strategy later, days before a High Court deadline.

Campaigners said the measures were promising, but more detail was needed.The government was ordered by the courts to produce new plans to tackle illegal levels of harmful pollutant nitrogen dioxide.It came after judges agreed with environmental campaigners that previous plans were insufficient to meet EU pollution limits.

Must Know Facts About Air Pollution

    • More than nine out of 10 of the world’s population – 92% – lives in places where air pollution exceeds safe limits, according to research from the World Health Organization (WHO)
    • Air pollution is the fourth-largest threat to human health, behind high blood pressure, dietary risks and smoking.The health risks of breathing dirty air include respiratory infections and cardiovascular diseases, stroke, chronic lung disease and lung cancer.
    • There were an estimated 6.5 million deaths worldwide from air pollution-related diseases in 2012, WHO data shows. That’s 11.6% of all global deaths – more than the number of people killed by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and road injuries combined.
    • Almost all deaths (94%) linked to air pollution occur in low- and middle-income countries, the WHO says.Parts of Africa, Eastern Europe, India, China and the Middle East are the biggest regional danger spots.
    • More than 1 million air pollution-related deaths occurred in China and over 600,000 in India in 2012, according to the WHO. But the worst countries for deaths per head of population are in Eastern Europe. Ukraine, at the top of the table, had 120 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012.

Retrofitting buses

Ministers had to set out their draft clean air strategy plans in May with the final measures due by 31 July.Local measures could include retrofitting buses and other transport to make them cleaner, changing road layouts, altering features such as speed humps and re-programming traffic lights to make vehicle-flow smoother.

Campaigners want government-funded and mandated clean air zones, with charges for the most-polluting vehicles to enter areas with high air pollution, included in the plans, as well as a diesel scrappage scheme.It is thought ministers will consult on a scrappage scheme, but there is no firm commitment.

Ministers have been wary of being seen to “punish” drivers of diesel cars, who, they argue, bought the vehicles after being encouraged to by the last Labour government because they produced lower carbon emissions.

Emissions Hotspots

“Our plan to deal with dirty diesels will help councils clean up emissions hotspots – often a single road – through common sense measures which do not unfairly penalise ordinary working people.Environmental law firm ClientEarth welcomed the measures, but said it wanted to see more detail.

Its chief executive James Thornton said: “A clear policy to move people towards cleaner vehicles by banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans after 2040 is welcome, as is more funding for local authorities.

“However, the law says ministers must bring down illegal levels of air pollution as soon as possible, so any measures announced in this plan must be focused on doing that.”

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