A Labour government will aim to end the sale of cars with internal combustion engines by 2030, as part of its plans to tackle the climate emergency.

The party is to begin talks with the car industry and trade unions to explore the policies needed to achieve the goal. It says it wants to help an “under siege” industry switch to electric car production.

It comes as measures to phase out the internal combustion engine gathering pace across Europe. Earlier this month, Denmark called for a plan to phase out diesel and petrol cars and allow a ban on their sale by 2030. It was backed by 10 other EU countries.

Labour has already pledged to provide £3bn to invest in electric car models and technology. It will exempt new investment in plant and machinery from business rates. Another £2bn will go towards the construction of three battery plants.

The internal combustion engine policy comes after Labour’s annual conference last month voted for the UK to have a net-zero carbon target by 2030 – a target that senior party figures deem impossible to achieve. The measure is unlikely to make it into Labour’s next manifesto, but it is setting out an ambitious plan to combat the climate emergency.

Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary, said: “The automotive sector is one of the UK’s industrial success stories. However, the sector is under siege from Brexit uncertainty and the Tory party’s lack of ambition on electrification.

“At the same time, we need to accelerate the shift away from fossil-powered cars if we’re to tackle the climate emergency. If we want our automotive sector to flourish, we need a government who is not afraid to intervene.

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“It’s vital that we work alongside unions to create a plan for a just transition for workers employed in the automotive sector.”



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