Leaded gasoline will no longer be used in any country in the world, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) announced on Monday (August 30), a “major step”.
Nearly a century after the first warnings of the toxic effects of leaded gas, Algeria, the last country to use this fuel, Stocks ran out last month, UNEP said This Monday. “Successful implementation of the ban on leaded gasoline is an important milestone for global health and our environment,” said Inger Anderson, UNEP Executive Director at UNEP.
A huge evolution in 20 years
Until 20 years ago, leaded gasoline was still used in over a hundred countries. The first warning was issued in 1924 when dozens of workers were hospitalized and five were pronounced dead following the seizure of a refinery in New Jersey (USA).
However, until the 1970s, approx Every gasoline sold in the world contains lead. When the UNEP campaign began in 2002, several major powers, such as the United States, China, and India, had already stopped using the fuel. But it is also widely used in low-income countries.
Since North Korea, Burma and Afghanistan stopped selling leaded gasoline in 2016, only a handful of countries still operate service stations that supply this fuel. Algeria eventually withdrew Iraq and Yemen.
Just a little step
Elimination of leaded gasoline “will prevent more than 1.2 million premature deaths per year, increase IQ points in children, and save $ 2,440 billion ($ 2,034 billion) into the global economy, UNEP said in a statement.” However, UNEP points out that the use of fossil fuels in general needs to be significantly reduced to mitigate the effects of climate change, especially in the emerging markets where the expected increase in vehicle sales is expected.
“Transportation is responsible for a quarter of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions and is expected to grow by a third by 2050,” UNEP said, adding that 1.2 billion new vehicles will be brought into service over the next decade.
This includes millions of used vehicles exported from Europe, the United States and Japan to middle- and low-income countries. The group added that this could lead to global warming and air pollution (accidents).
The announcement comes a few weeks after a report by the UN Climate Experts Group (IPCC). The “Red Alert for Humanity” was announced in early August, while global warming is moving more seriously and faster than feared. The planet should reach + 1.5 ° C ten years earlier than the previous IPCC figures for 2018.
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