Glasgow has reaffirmed its commitment to meet its 2030 net zero target after the UK Government pushed back the ban on new petrol and diesel cars by five years.

The City Council says it is making good progress to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030 by cutting greenhouse gases, with any remaining emissions absorbed from the atmosphere by oceans and forests.

A report presented to councillors highlighted that the council continues to make good progress in its mission and remains ahead of target despite an increase of emissions as a result of the recovery from the pandemic. 

But concerns were raised about how changes made to tackling climate change by the UK Government would impact Glasgow City Council. 

This includes moving back the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by five years, so all sales of new cars from 2035 will be zero emission and delaying the ban on installing oil and LPG boilers, and new coal heating, for off-gas-grid homes to 2035, instead of phasing them out from 2026. 

Labour Councillor Keiran O’Neil said: “We have got a situation at the moment where the UK Government seem to be changing their mind on quite a lot of fundamental issues that we probably took for granted when it comes to tackling the climate emergency.

“What impact is that going to have in terms of our plan for the city?”

A council officer confirmed that these announcements would be unlikely to change the local authorities course of direction and they are still committed to reaching its 2030 target.

Councillor Angus Millar, convenor for climate, said: “Our commitment as a city and our aspirations are absolutely steadfast in terms of the urgency with which we are seeking to tackle the climate emergency.

“The Scottish Government are taking longer to review the climate plan at national level in response to the changes that have been announced at Westminster.  “I don’t think that means the Scottish Government’s ambition is likely to change in terms of its commitment to tackle climate change. Their ability to respond to the climate emergency will be constrained or influenced by what is happening at Westminster.

“As a council we should be calling on the national government to continue to prioritise climate change and the journey to net zero and replace the programmes of funding that will enable us as a city to accelerate that transition.”