The British government will announce Wednesday it intends to ban all new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 to improve air quality, local media reported.
U.K. Environment Secretary Michael Gove will announce the move as part of the U.K.’s clean air plan, in response to fears rising levels of the pollutant nitrogen oxide are a major risk to public health.
Britain’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs published a draft plan seeking to cut down levels of nitrogen dioxide in May. Last year, the British High Court ruled a previous version of the plan was insufficient and ordered the government to come up with stronger measures in response to a lawsuit brought by NGO ClientEarth.
A plan to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles in the U.K. was initially floated by Britain’s Liberal Democrats in 2014, and was widely panned by the media.
The news comes on the back of a similar move in France to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040 as part of a larger effort to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.