“Britain was the first major economy in the world – let alone the EU - to place upon our own shoulders a legal obligation to be carbon neutral by 2050," said Boris Johnson.

By Ian Horswill

Posted on February 5, 2020

Hybrid vehicles have seemed the sensible option for many environmentally concerned people awaiting the electric vehicles revolution.

However, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce that his country will no longer sell hybrid, petrol or diesel vehicles from 2035. This is five years earlier than previously announced and includes hybrid vehicles for the first time.

Hybrid vehicles are cleaner than traditional vehicles but the argument that hybrids only travel limited distances on electric power before the need to use petrol or diesel appears to have consigned them to death, The Telegraph reported.

Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular and the number of electric vehicle models available in Europe will jump from fewer than 100 to 175 by the end of the year, according to data firm IHS Markit. By 2025 there will be more than 330, based on an analysis of company announcements. It is likely the hybrid vehicle will gradually be phased out across the world once electric vehicles take hold.

Boris Johnson will set out the proposals during Tuesday’s official launch of the 26th United Nations Climate Conference (COP26), which is due to take place in Glasgow in November.

He will be accompanied at the event by Sir David Attenborough and the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, where Johnson will call on other nations to follow the UK in setting legally-binding targets to hit net zero emissions by 2050.

“Britain was the first major economy in the world – let alone the EU – to place upon our own shoulders a legal obligation to be carbon neutral by 2050,” Johnson said at the Royal Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London, a symbol of Britain’s former dominance in global trade.

“That will put huge strains on our system, it will require full effort and change, but we know we can do it.

“We have cut our carbon emissions by nearly twice the EU average since 1990, 42% and we have cut while the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) has grown by about 70%.”

New European Union rules came into force on 1 January that heavily penalise car manufacturers if average carbon dioxide emissions from the cars they sell rise above 95g per kilometre. If carmakers exceed that limit, they will have to pay a fine of €95 (£79) for every gram over the target, multiplied by the total number of cars they sell. The excess emissions bill would have been £28.6bn on 2018 sales figures, according to analysis by the automotive consultancy Jato Dynamics.

Up to 30,000 delegates including world leaders are expected to attend COP26 at Glasgow’s Scottish Events Campus. COP26 follows the US Presidential Election and is widely seen as the last realistic chance for countries to pledge the deep cuts in emissions to hold global heating to no more than 2C – and prevent catastrophic climate change.