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The U.K. Is Banning These Vehicles By 2040

Air Pollution Levels In Putney Exceed Yearly Quota Just Days Into 2013Air Pollution Levels In Putney Exceed Yearly Quota Just Days Into 2013
Fumes spew out of a car exhaust pipe in Putney, England.Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

The U.K. government plans to raise pollution taxes and commit to a ban on all new diesel and gasoline-powered vehicles by 2040 as part of a wide-ranging plan to rein in emissions and improve air quality.

The pollution taxes, which would affect drivers on 81 major roads in 17 towns and cities, come in response to a failure to meet European Union emissions standards, the Telegraph reported Tuesday. The government recently lost a lawsuit filed by ClientEarth over breaches of E.U. emissions standards.

Under the plan, local governments with particularly congested roads and poor air quality would take immediate action to remedy the problem through various efforts including changing road layouts, improving public transport, and retrofitting buses to emit lower emissions.

The ban on new diesel and gasoline-powered vehicles wouldn’t go into effect for more than 20 years. But the government considers taking action now as a way to encourage consumers to buy electric and hybrid vehicles.

The plans follow a similar commitment by France earlier this month.