‘A ban on selling new petrol, diesel or hybrid cars in the UK will be brought forward from 2040 to 2035 at the latest, under government plans.
The change comes after experts said 2040 would be too late if the UK wants to achieve its target of emitting virtually zero carbon by 2050.
Boris Johnson unveiled the policy as part of a launch event for a United Nations climate summit in November.
He said 2020 would be a “defining year of climate action” for the planet.
The summit, known as COP26, is being hosted in Glasgow. It is an annual UN-led gathering set up to assess progress on tackling climate change.
Sir David Attenborough said at the launch event at London’s Science Museum that he was looking forward to COP26 and found it “encouraging” that the UK government was launching a “year of climate action”.
“It’s up to us to put before the nations of the world what needs to be done. Now is the moment,” he added.’
The spiralling environmental cost of our lithium battery addiction
‘As the world scrambles to replace fossil fuels with clean energy, the environmental impact of finding all the lithium required could become a major issue in its own right
Here’s a thoroughly modern riddle: what links the battery in your smartphone with a dead yak floating down a Tibetan river? The answer is lithium – the reactive alkali metal that powers our phones, tablets, laptops and electric cars.
In May 2016, hundreds of protestors threw dead fish onto the streets of Tagong, a town on the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau. They had plucked them from the waters of the Liqi river, where a toxic chemical leak from the Ganzizhou Rongda Lithium mine had wreaked havoc with the local ecosystem.
There are pictures of masses of dead fish on the surface of the stream. Some eyewitnesses reported seeing cow and yak carcasses floating downstream, dead from drinking contaminated water. It was the third such incident in the space of seven years in an area which has seen a sharp rise in mining activity, including operations run by BYD, the world’ biggest supplier of lithium-ion batteries for smartphones and electric cars. After the second incident, in 2013, officials closed the mine, but when it reopened in April 2016, the fish started dying again.’