Michael Gove confirms 2030 petrol and diesel car ban is ‘immovable’

Cabinet minister Michael Gove has confirmed the 2030 date for the petrol and diesel car ban is “immovable” when asked if the ban was still expected to go ahead by the end of the decade.

Talking to Times Radio about the upcoming ban on the sale of new fossil fuel cars, Gove said it is “important that the government does press ahead with appropriate and thoughtful steps in order to safeguard the environment”.

His comments come in the wake of prime minister Rishi Sunak hinting at a change of plans yesterday as he sidestepped questions confirming the timeframe. He said that the UK would pursue its net zero ambitions in a “proportionate and pragmatic way that doesn’t unnecessarily give people more hassle and more costs in their lives”.

Senior government sources have since said the PM was ‘open’ to reviewing the 2030 petrol and diesel car ban, although Gove’s comments today asserted otherwise.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We’re committed to maintaining our policy of ensuring that by 2030 there are no new petrol and diesel cars being sold.

“I’m sure there are some people who would like to change that policy, I understand. But that policy remains.”


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The news follows in the wake of the PM being urged by the Conservative party to drop the petrol car ban and ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) policies in a bid to win back voters ahead of the next general election.

Gove also called a review for the proposed deadline to replace gas boilers with heat pumps. Under the current plan, installing gas boilers in new-built homes will stop from 2025 and in existing homes from 2035.

“It is important that new homes meet net zero but one of the challenges we have is with our existing housing stock,” Gove said.

“There are proposals to decarbonise our existing housing stock which I think are the right direction to go but I think the cost of some of those changes may impose on homeowners, and indeed on landlords, I think at this point in time we do need to be careful about imposing.

“Because we are living in a real cost-of-living challenge and what we don’t want to do is to force individuals to pay excessive sums at this stage, we need to take a proportionate approach.”

“There are some specific areas where the cost [of achieving net zero] that is being imposed on individual risks creating a backlash,” he added.

“We don’t want to get to a situation where the support for improving our environment curdles and turns into resistance.”

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