By Roger Harrabin
BBC environment analyst

Feb 4, BBC News

The EU should ban the sale of cars that do under 35 miles to the gallon, the ex-chairman of oil giant Shell says.

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart told BBC News the motor industry would adapt to cope with stricter environmental rules.

The UK Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders opposes the idea, saying drivers of the most polluting cars pay extra through road tax and petrol duty.

But Sir Mark said this simply let rich people avoid taking responsibility for tackling climate change.

"Nobody needs a car that does 10-15mpg," Sir Mark explained in a BBC News website Green Room opinion column.

"We need very tough regulation saying that you can't drive or build something less than a certain standard. You would be allowed to drive an Aston Martin - but only if it did 50-60mpg."

Sir Mark's rule would apply only to new cars. Eventually, old polluting cars would die quietly of their own accord.

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photo: Markets need to be pointed in the right direction, Sir Mark says (Getty Images)