Alok Sharma – 2021 Speech on Zero Emissions for Road Transport

The speech made by Alok Sharma, the COP26 President, on 4 May 2021.

Good afternoon.

The future of the road transport sector is clear. And that future is zero emissions.

The transition is happening faster than ever before.

The pace of zero emissions vehicle sales has been quickening.

In the EU, 10 percent of the cars sold in 2020 were hybrid or electric, that is expected to rise to 15 percent this year.

In Norway electric car sales have overtaken petrol and diesel.

Six months ago, the UK was planning to phase out new polluting vehicles by 2040.

Today, we will do so by 2030.

Matching the ambition shown by the likes of Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

While Norway is set for a 2025 phase-out.

Manufacturers are taking action too. Volvo will phase out internal combustion engine sales by 2030, General Motors by 2035.

We know that action from governments and business reinforce one another.

So, as we look to speed-up the transition to green transport, we need action from both groups.

And we must speed it up, because, today, road transport is responsible for 10 percent of global emissions.

To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, we need all new car sales to ]be zero emission by 2040. Earlier in the most advanced markets.

And a faster transition can benefit us all. Thanks to economies of scale reducing costs.

So, to help get the transition moving faster, the UK COP26 Presidency established the Zero Emission Vehicle Transition Council.

Bringing together ministers and governments representing some of the world’s biggest car markets, to look at how we can work together.

Our work is very much informed by consultations with business and civil society.

I hope your discussions today also help to establish ways to accelerate the move to zero emissions vehicles.

And I encourage those of you who have not yet done so to make bold commitments.

Commitments that push the world closer towards its clean future.

And that help your company, or your countries’ manufacturers, to get ahead.

To capitalise on the now inevitable transition to zero emissions road transport around the world.

So I wish you the best of luck with your discussions and deliberations.

Thank you.