In Brief

Paris conference: all new UK cars to be zero-emissions by 2050

UK is one of 13 states to sign up to the Zero Emissions Vehicle Alliance

By 2050, all new cars sold in the UK must be emissions-free, under an ambitious accord signed by a combination of 13 countries and US states at the United Nations climate change conference in Paris this month.

With Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and others, the UK has agreed to promote greener motoring and transport and increase the sales of zero emissions vehicles as fast as possible; to the point where every vehicle sold has zero emissions by 2050.

There will be continued incentives and subsidies for motorists buying greener and zero-emissions cars, such as electric vehicles, and more tax breaks and grants for companies and manufacturers investing in and developing zero-emissions technology.

There will also be continued investment in the UK's zero-emissions car infrastructure, in order to cope with increasing numbers of electric and hydrogen cars.

Fleetworld reports that the Zero Emissions Vehicle Alliance was formed in September this year, with "the ambition to increase the global uptake of green vehicles through international co-operation".

According to Auto Express, experts believe the plan could decrease greenhouse gas emissions by over one billion tonnes per year by 2050, lowering global vehicle emissions by roughly 40 per cent.

After the agreement was struck, transport minister Andrew Jones said: "The UK already has the largest market for ultra-low emission vehicles in the EU, and the fourth largest in the world."

But BT reports that Edmund King, president of the AA, warned: "Our current car buying intentions show that we still have a long way to go."

King called the plan "ambitious and laudable" but cited motorists' anxieties regarding the range of electric cars and said the onus must be placed on manufacturers to provide plausible alternative vehicles, mated to a much-improved infrastructure to support zero-emissions motorists.

The announcement comes as data suggests global emissions of carbon dioxide could stall or even recede slightly this year, according to the BBC. This is the first time this has happened when the global economy is growing.

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