The UK Health Alliance on Climate Change responds to Science and Technology Select Committee recommendations on diesel and petrol phase out made in the Clean Growth Report.
Today’s report, published by the Science and Technology Select Committee, makes some progressive and encouraging recommendations for urgent changes to our transport system in response to the climate crisis1. The proposals include bringing forward the ban on the sale of new conventional cars and vans by 2035.
In order to deliver on the UK Government’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, we need urgent changes like this to our behaviour, and our attitudes towards activities that produce significant greenhouse gas emissions. As the largest emitting sector of the UK economy1, it’s critical that we make changes to our transport system.
In a recent paper, Moving Beyond the Air Quality Crisis, the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change called for the ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars and vans to be brought forward to 20302. In doing so, the UK would be joining several other countries – Denmark, India, Ireland, Sweden and the Netherlands have all pledged to ban new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, while Norway will do the same by 2025.
We’re encouraged that the Science and Technology Select Committee has added their voice to the call for quicker action on the climate crisis – just a day after an Ipsos Mori poll revealed 85% of the public are now concerned about climate change, with a majority supporting net zero before 20503.
Speaking on behalf of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, Dr Helena McKeown, BMA Chief Officer and GP from Salisbury said:
“In order to meet government targets for net-zero emisions as soon as possible, and to ensure public health is protected, the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change supports the Science and Technology Select Committee and calls for the ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles to be brought forward to 2030.
“In doing so, the government will be presented with fantastic opportunities to improve public health, both directly – through increased levels of active travel – and indirectly – through reduced levels of air pollution, which contributes greatly to many physical and mental health problems.
“To realise the myriad co-benefits to health of tackling climate change through transport, we call for investment in active travel to be increased to at least £10 per capita by 2020.”
- House of Commons, 2019. Clean Growth: Technologies for meeting the UK’s emissions reduction targets.
- UKHACC, 2019. Moving beyond the air quality crisis.
- Ipsos Mori, 2019. Climate Change and the Weather.
Notes for editors:
The UK Health Alliance on Climate Change represents over 650,000 health professionals advocating for responses to climate change which protect and promote public health. Our vision is a world in which health is improved as climate change is solved. Our members include leading health bodies such as The Royal Colleges of Physicians, GPs and Surgeons, the Royal College of Nursing, the British Medical Association, the British Medical Journal, and The Lancet.
Climate change is the greatest health threat of the 21st century, but action on climate change could bring major co-benefits to health. The Alliance was formed in reaction to these profound threats and opportunities and seeks to drive an accelerated policy response.
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