According to new research from environmental campaigners, the sales of diesel and petrol car sales must end before 2030 in order to meet the Paris agreement on climate change.
A report commissioned by Greenpeace suggests that if Europe is to keep to its carbon budget set out in the Paris agreement then banning the sale of new internal combustion (ICE) cars will have to be accelerated.
The UK Government plans to phase out ICE sales by 2040. The report from the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) looked at two scenarios for keeping the EU’s carbon “budget” in line with the stated aim of halting global warming at 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
The research also said that if the current levels of emissions were to continue for the next couple of years, the CO2 budget would be depleted in between five and nine years.
According to the report, passenger cars account for between 13 and 15 per cent of total CO2 emissions and around 58 per cent of emissions from transport.
While overall CO2 emissions have fallen 18 per cent since 2005, transport-related levels have dropped 6 per cent and passenger car levels five per cent.
Rosie Rogers, a clean air campaigner at Greenpeace, said: “Road transport is one of the few EU sectors where CO2 emissions continue to grow. Phasing-out diesel and petrol cars will benefit the climate, help solve the air pollution crisis and improve the quality of life for everyone.
“The speed of the transition is the crucial point. It’s clear most car makers and policymakers are still at least a decade short of meaningful action to clean up our roads.
“The measure of car companies must now be the date they will rid themselves of petrol and diesel. And while many companies are making the right noises on electric, only a small minority have begun to talk phase-out dates.”
The European Parliament is currently considering proposals for revised CO2 standards for new cars and vans that would mandate reduced CO2 emissions by 15 per cent by 2025, and 30 per cent by 2030 compared to their limits in 2021.