Transport is a critical lifeline for many of us but despite the benefits, the way we travel and the fuel we use is having a major impact on the environment, our well-being, and our health. As the global automotive industry shifts towards electric vehicles (EV), local government is ideally placed to benefit while smoothing the transition – and that is good news for all of us.
Governments play a vital role in transitioning society away from harmful emissions. They can lead by example, demonstrating low-emission technologies and investing in renewable energy. Local authorities are uniquely placed to support citizens through changes in regulation, taxation, and infrastructure development while at the same time reducing their own environmental impact.
Governments around the world have committed to increasing the number of electric vehicles on their roads. The UK has pledged to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, 10 years earlier than previously planned. In China – where over one million EVs were sold last year – the government has set a target for 40% of new car sales to be EVs by 2030. Norway aims for all new passenger cars to be zero-emission by 2025.
These are ambitious targets but ones that governments must meet if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. Local authorities have a crucial role to play in ensuring these goals are met while also delivering real benefits to their residents and businesses.