The Disaster Of Used Cars That Spain Discards: This Is
Environment

The disaster of used cars that Spain discards: this is what they cause in Nairobi

The UN warns that the vehicles that are exported to poor countries are of poor quality and hinder the mitigation of the climate crisis.

Traffic jam in Nairobi, Kenya.

Millions of used cars, vans and minibuses exported from Europe, the United States and Japan to developing countries they are of poor quality, which contributes significantly to air pollution and hampers efforts to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis. This is the conclusion of a new report published this Monday by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), based in Nairobi.

The study shows that, between 2015 and 2018, 14 million used vehicles were exported worldwide, of which 80% went to low- and middle-income countries, the majority in africa. Based on the analysis of 146 countries, the report notes that some two-thirds of those nations have “weak” or “very weak” policies to regulate the importation of used vehicles.

The African countriesimported the most of second-hand vehicles (40%) in the period studied, followed by Eastern Europe (24%), Asia-Pacific (15%), the Middle East (12%) and Latin America (9%).

The rapid growth of the global vehicle fleet is a major factor contributing to air pollution and climate change, according to UNEP. In fact, the transport industry it is responsible for nearly a quarter of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.

“Clean up the global vehicle fleet it is a priority to achieve global and local air quality and peak goals,” UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen said in a statement. “For years, developed countries have increasingly exported their used vehicles to developing countries. Because this occurs largely without regulation, has become the export of polluting vehicles,” said Andersen.

In his opinion, developed countries “should stop exporting vehicles that do not pass the environmental and safety inspections and are no longer considered roadworthy in their own countries”, while importing nations “must introduce stricter quality standards.

More than 20 years

The Netherlands, one of the European exporters of second-hand vehicles, made a recent assessment which revealed that most of those cars were between 16 and 20 years and lacked a valid roadworthiness certificate for export.

For example, the average age of used vehicles exported to Gambia was approaching 19 years, while a quarter of second-hand vehicles exported to Nigeria were nearly 20 years old.

“These results show that urgent measures must be taken to improve the quality of used vehicles exported from Europe”, admitted the Dutch Minister for the Environment, Stientje Van Veldhoven, stressing the need for a “coordinated European approach and close cooperation between European and African governments” in order to achieve that goal.

In Ghana, “the impact of old polluting vehicles is clear”, said the Ghanaian Minister for the Environment, Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng. “Accra air quality data confirms that transportation is the main source of air pollution in our cities,” the minister explained.

The low quality of second-hand vehicles, adds the report, It also causes more traffic accidents. in countries with “very weak” or weak regulations, such as Malawi, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Burundi.