'The Business Secretary was last night accused of sowing confusion after claiming diesels ‘still have a place’ on Britain’s roads.
Despite the Government’s intention to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars from 2040, Greg Clark urged drivers to trade in their old diesels for a new, cleaner one.
Speaking at a car summit he said: ‘I think it’s important to say that new-generation diesel engines can make a big contribution to reducing our emissions.
‘I would expect the contribution of the higher standards of efficiency and emission performance of diesel engines to continue to drive improvements in air quality and our greenhouse gas performance.
‘It would be the wrong decision for people to think that holding on to an existing diesel vehicle rather than upgrading to a much more environmentally friendly new one is a good step for the planet.’
He added: ‘There’s a place for diesel vehicles and there will be for some time to come. If you’re driving a diesel-powered car long distances then that’s a very different impact than in the city.
‘So we need to make sure people make the right choices for the environment and for their own use.’
Motoring campaigner Howard Cox said: ‘It’s good news that the Business Secretary realises that diesel cars are not the root of all evil. But drivers will be wondering what on earth to do.
‘First they are advised to move away from diesel, now they are advised to trade in their old diesel car for a new one. This will just sow further confusion.’'
Read more: At the risk of driving us crazy... now minister tells us we should still consider buying diesel to help reduce emissions
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