Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 27th 2017 Contents world A27
Thursday, July 27, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Britain to ban
sale of new
cars by 2040
LONDON---Britain will ban the sale
of new cars and vans using diesel and
gasoline starting in 2040 as part of a
sweeping plan to tackle air pollution
that experts say is feasible, if ambitious.
The government announcement
yesterday follows similar moves
in France and Norway and
comes amid a global debate on
how quickly electric and hy-
brid cars can replace internal
combustion engines. Tradi-
tional engines running on
diesel and gasoline are still
popular with consumers
as they're relatively cheap
and do not face some limits
of electric cars, such as a
But with the technology
for electric and hybrid cars
are trying to set long-term
goals to help guide the in-
vestments of automakers
and, ultimately, consumers'
Britain's government said
it would put up $326 million
to help local communities
address diesel pollution. The
measures are part of a clean air
strategy that authorities pub-
lished only days before a deadline
mandated by the High Court. The
money is part of a 3 billion pound effort
to clean up the air.
The government plan includes the
consideration of a targeted scrappage
scheme for drivers who need support
and to provide an incentive to switch ve-
hicles. It also aims for "almost every car
and van on the road to be a zero emission
vehicle by 2050," the government said
in its overview of the program.
Frederik Dahlmann, an assistant
professor of global energy at War-
wick Business School, described the
plans as "ambitious but realistic."
"I am confident enough that the
industry will be able to respond
within that timeline," he said.
It would, however, require sig-
nificant investment in in the in-
frastructure, such as a network of
charging stations, that is required
to make electric and hybrid vehicles
more widely popular. Another point
of focus is improving batteries so that
they last longer.
While carmaker Volvo has
committed to switching to only
selling electric and hybrid cars
within two years, most major
manufacturers say that tra-
ditional engines will remain
an important part of their
sales for years.
Meanwhile, sales of elec-
tric and hybrid cars are ex-
pected to increase from about
350,000 in 2015 to 1.85 million
by 2025. (AP)
WASHINGTON---The Trump administration
imposed sanctions on 13 senior Venezuelan
officials as the country's opposition launched
a two-day strike yesterday, heaping pressure
on unpopular President Nicolas Maduro to
scrap plans for a controversial new congress.
With clashes breaking out in some areas, a
30-year-old man was killed during a protest in
the mountainous state of Merida, authorities said.
Venezuela's long-time ideological foe the United
States opted to sanction the country's army and
police chiefs, the national director of elections,
and a vice president of the state oil company for
alleged corruption and rights abuses.
But US President Donald Trump spared Vene-
zuela for now from broader sanctions against its
vital oil industry, although such actions were still
US officials said the individual sanctions aimed
to show Maduro that Washington would make
good on a threat of "strong and swift economic
actions" if he goes ahead with a vote on Sunday
that critics have said would cement dictatorship
in the OPEC country.
The leftist leader was also feeling the heat at
home, where neighbours gathered from dawn
across Venezuela to block roads with rubbish,
stones and tape, while many stores remained shut.
Overall, however, fewer people appeared to be
heeding the shutdown than the millions who par-
ticipated in a 24-hour strike last week when five
people died in clashes.
State enterprises, including oil company
Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) stayed open
and some working-class neighbourhoods were
still buzzing with activity.
But hooded youth were clashing with soldiers
firing tear gas in various places including Cara-
cas, where opposition lawmakers reported several
Maduro has vowed to push ahead with Sunday's
vote for a Constituent Assembly, which will have
power to rewrite the constitution and override the
current opposition-led legislature.
The successor of late leader Hugo Chavez says
the new superbody is the only way to bring peace
back to Venezuela after four months of violent
anti-government protests that have led to over
The opposition has said that Sunday's vote,
which it is boycotting, is a sham designed to give
Maduro dictatorial powers.
One of the US officials warned
the sanctions were just an initial
round and the administration was
readying tougher measures. The
most serious option is financial
sanctions that would halt dollar pay-
ments for the country's oil and starve
the government of hard currency, or a
total ban on oil imports to the United
States, a top cash-paying client.
But the decision to hold back for now
on hitting Venezuela's oil sector reflected
a continuing internal debate that has weighed
the risks of inflicting further suffering on
Venezuelans, raising US domestic gasoline
prices, and causing problems for PDVSA's
US refining subsidiary Citgo.
Even some of Maduro's opponents have
cautioned that he could rally his sup-
porters under a nationalist banner if
the United States goes too far on sanc-
tions, as Venezuelans suffer a brutal
economic crisis with food and med-
Venezuela's Information Ministry
did not immediately respond to a re-
quest for comment on the sanctions.
Elections boss Lucena is scorned
by opposition activists, who have
said that she has delayed regional
elections and blocked a recall ref-
erendum against Maduro at the be-
hest of an autocratic government.
The US officials said the indi-
viduals targeted for sanctions were
accused of supporting Maduro's
crackdown, harming democratic
institutions or victimising Vene-
zuelans through corruption, and
that additional "bad actors" could
be sanctioned later.
Punitive measures include freezing
US assets, banning travel to the Unit-
ed States and prohibiting Americans
from doing business with them.
"What the United States is doing
is bringing to light corruption in the
Venezuelan government," opposi-
tion lawmaker Franklin Duarte said.
"This is the second list and we expect
another one on Friday."
Venezuelan Bolivarian National Guard soldiers break through a barricade set up by
anti-government protesters on the first day of a 48-hour general strike in protest of
government plans to rewrite the constitution, in the Bello Campo neighborhood of
Caracas, Venezuela, yesterday. AP PHOTO
...anti-Maduro strike begins
Links Archive July 26th 2017 July 28th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page