It’s been a strange year, so you’d be forgiven for missing an odd thing that happened in the U.K. last month. When Prime Minister Boris Johnson, leader of the Conservative Party, banned sales of new internal combustion engine cars from 2030, the decision was supported by the likes of oil giant Royal Dutch Shell Plc and the Confederation of British Industry, a powerful business group.
How did these champions of market-driven policies and fewer regulations become promoters of such a heavy-handed intervention?
Perhaps the ban is simply something any competent government, regardless of its political bent, should be doing. The U.K. has a legally mandated goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. That means quickly cutting emissions from all sectors, including transport. Last year, the government’s independent advisor, the Climate Change Committee, recommended the 2030 ban as a way of meeting the U.K.’s climate targets. Maybe