The Scottish Government has been urged to ban fossil-fuelled vehicles from city centres by 2030 in order to tackle climate change.
The call for action is being made by a group of business leaders and environmentalists, including WWF Scotland, the Energy Saving Trust, Scottish Land and Estates and the University of Edinburgh.
The idea to ban vehicles is part of a wider 12-point strategy to reduce pollution in the country and the group said such a move would “provide a powerful market signal for the wider decarbonisation of road transport across the whole of Scotland.”
In its report the consortium – known as the Climate Emergency Response Group – said two barriers exist at present to the decarbonisation of Scotland’s vehicles are a lack of sufficient charging infrastructure and a lack of manufacturers bringing enough products to forecourts, despite the demand for electric vehicles and the affordability of the technology, adding the Scottish Government is making “world-leading progress” in reducing the first barrier with its development of charging infrastructure, but said it should therefore be asking what it can do to address the current and future supply of zero emission vehicles to the Scottish vehicle market.
The report also acknowledged the need to send a clear message to fleet operators in a timely manner to help them prepare for changes in years to come: “Assuming a fleet turnover rate of approximately five years, and a five year timescale for vehicle manufacturers to bring new products to market, it is vital that market signals are given now if cities are to play the leading role they should in achieving the phase out of fossil-fuel car and van sales by 2032,” it added, noting that Holyrood has already signalled it wants to end the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles in the country by 2032, some eight years ahead of England.