Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pushed back the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK from 2030 to 2035

Sunak says he still expects that by 2030 "the vast majority" of cars will be electric, because of improving technology.

He expressed a more pragmatic approach needed to be taken so that it balances economic growth with environmental protection. His announcement have spurred debate amongst politicians, environmental activists and car manufacturers alike.

The prime minister stated that he remains committed to the net zero target by 2050 but will achieve it "in a better, more proportionate way".

The delay in the ban of selling of new petrol and diesel cars was announced in a speech Wednesday evening.

The prime minister said: “We are committed to net zero by 2050 and the agreements we have made internationally – but doing so in a better, more proportionate way.”

Two electric Volvos charging

What does net zero mean?

Net zero is a term used to describe a state where the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere is equal to the amount that is removed.

This is achieved by reducing emissions through a variety of measures such as investing in renewable energy, improving energy efficiency, and promoting sustainable practices in various industries.

What are the benefits of achieving Net Zero:

  • A positive impact on climate
  • Economic growth and job creation opportunities
  • Protecting the environment and natural resources

Does the UK have to reach net zero by 2050?

The prime minister says he will stick to the UK's 2050 target to be a net zero emitter of carbon dioxide as the UK legal commitment to do so.

The net zero target was made legally binding by the Climate Change Act 2008 (2050 Target Amendment) Order 2019.

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