Ministers have been urged to ‘shift gear’ and move forward the ban on new petrol and diesel cars from 2040 to 2030 to boost trade and reduce emissions.
Green Alliance has produced the report, which suggests that by moving the ban forward a decade, oil imports would be reduced by almost 50% by 2035 which could account for savings up to £6.63bn annually.
Electric vehicles would also reap the benefits of a change in policy, according to the report.
The UK exported 80% of the 1.3 million cars it produced last year and Green Alliance argue that a growing demand for low carbon vehicles worldwide means there is potential for the UK to capture a significant part of the global market by 2030, contributing as much as £95 billion to the UK economy.
The average UK vehicle is scrapped after around 14 years, meaning a 2040 sales ban on fossil-fuelled vehicles will continue to cause wide-scale air pollution until after 2050, which the report says is too long to
Last year the government announced the ban for 2040, which is in line France, but behind the 2030 target set by India, and the 2025 target set by Norway.
The transport sector is now the largest source of CO2 in the country, accounting for over a quarter of emissions in 2017. Road transport makes up 85% of this and, in 2017, vehicle emissions rose for the first time in 17 years.
The report adds: ‘the government’s clean growth strategy contains no significant measures to reduce transport emissions while, at the same time, showing that current policy will fail to meet both the fourth and fifth carbon budgets, which set UK carbon targets to 2032. But, if it were to bring forward the 2040 fossil-fuelled vehicles ban to 2030, the government could address a large part of this gap.’