The Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF), representing a group of UK pension funds with £300 billion cumulative assets under management, has published a document calling on the government to ban sales of all new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars by 2025.

Cllr Doug McMurdo, Chair of LAPFF, said:

“We have seen just how quickly government and companies can respond during the coronavirus pandemic. We know that change does not need to take years. Ending road transport emissions is critical in the move to end climate change.”

In February 2020, the UK’s Department for Transportation launched a consultation on ending the sale of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans by 2040, 2035, or earlier, seeking views on topics including the phase out date, the definition of what should be included in the phase-out, and perceived barriers to achieving the proposals.

LAPFF’s statement comes in response to the consultation, arguing that the 2035 proposed deadline is not aggressive enough to address the dangers of climate change. LAPFF stated that w surface transport comprising a quarter of UK carbon emissions it is a significant contributor to the material financial risks of climate change across all asset classes with the potential for loss of shareholder value.

The statement goes on to call on government to ensure that the switch to electric vehicles should align with a just transition to a net zero carbon economy, mitigating the negative impacts to stakeholders. Additionally, LAPFF recommends removing barriers to the switch to electric vehicles, while supporting actions that would speed up the transition, such as fast tracking investment in charging infrastructure, and providing incentives such as tax credits for vehicle purchases.