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Lobbyists call for date banning sale of new petrol and diesel cars

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THE National Trust for Jersey has called on the government to follow the lead of other countries and name a year when the sale of new diesel and petrol cars will be banned in the Island.

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In a lengthy letter to Infrastructure Minister Kevin Lewis, the president of the trust, Georgina Malet de Carteret, has questioned how the government was going to hit its carbon-neutrality targets and other environmental objectives.

The States recently voted to make the Island carbon neutral by 2030.

And Deputy Lewis has previously expressed a desire to see Jersey’s bus fleet become fully electric by the end of his term of office.

In the letter, Mrs Malet de Carteret said the time had come for Jersey to set a date for when new diesel and petrol cars would be banned.

She said: ‘As you will be aware, many countries have now set themselves targets by which to ban new diesel and petrol cars; Costa Rica 2021, Norway 2025, India 2030, Germany 2030, Britain 2040, China 2040 and France 2040.

‘Surely the time has come for Jersey to set a target itself.

‘In doing so, everyone will then have the opportunity to adapt and plan accordingly, but also the JEC will be able to put the necessary infrastructure in place and budget accordingly.’ She further outlined that her organisation did not understand how Jersey was going to hit its clean air and energy targets.

By 2017, the Island had only achieved 14% of targets for electric and hybrid cars set out in Pathway 2050 – An Energy Plan for Jersey, the document that set environmental goals for the next three decades.

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Current targets are for 10% of new cars registered to be ultra-low emission vehicles by 2020, rising to 30% by 2030 and 90% by 2050.

Elsewhere in the letter, Mrs Malet de Carteret called for the government to work with Jersey Electricity and further develop a scheme to support low-emission vehicles.

She added: ‘In this respect we are glad to see that Jersey Electricity has taken a different stance and offered £150,000, subject to matched funding from the States of Jersey, to establish an incentive programme for LEV [Low Emission Vehicle] take-up.

‘Whilst accepting that great care has to be taken to ensure this does not simply become a subsidy for those wealthy enough to purchase an LEV, we are certain your department and the JEC can come up with a proposal to ensure that these funds are directed and targeted appropriately.

‘In addition, a small increase in fuel duty could be used in a similar manner to incentivise additional take-up.’

Deputy Lewis was contacted for comment.

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