EU lags behind as it announces ban on petrol and diesel cars

The European Parliament has given its formal approval to a ban on new sales of carbon-emitting petrol and diesel cars by 2035, with a view to getting them off the continent's roads by mid-century.

However, it still leaves Europe trailing behind the UK, coming three years after the Government said there would be a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in Britain by 2030.

The EU law will also set a 55pc cut in CO2 emissions for new cars sold from 2030 versus 2021 levels, much higher than the existing target of a 37.5pc.

Supporters of the bill had argued to that it would give European carmakers a clear timeframe in which to switch production to zero-emission electric vehicles, and spur investment to counter competition from China and the United States.

This, in turn, will also support the European Union's plan to become a "climate neutral" economy by 2050, with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.