SOURCE: Reuters

DATE: July 24, 2018

SNIP: African and South Asian nations could miss national targets to curb greenhouse gas emissions unless rich countries stop using them as dumping grounds for millions of polluting old cars, a study has warned.

The report by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said the United States, Japan and European Union countries had for years been exporting old, used cars – or clunkers – to nations such as Nigeria and Bangladesh.

The second-hand vehicles, which should have been scrapped under domestic regulations, are instead being used by poorer nations where they are contributing to carbon emissions, said CSE, a New Delhi-based think-tank.

There are around two billion vehicles globally, of which 2 percent – or 40 million – are deemed unworthy for road use in developed nations annually, according to the report.

Many of them end up in countries such as Kenya, Nigeria and Ethiopia. Ninety percent of Nigeria’s 3.5 million cars are imported second-hand vehicles, according to data from the management consultancy firm Deloitte.

These old, ill-maintained and often malfunctioning vehicles become energy guzzlers and emit high levels of heat-trapping gases, said the CSE.

Even though the level of emissions in less developed nations is lower than the world average, clunkers are a rapidly rising source of pollution, added the report.

If left uncontrolled, clunkers could jeopardise climate goals set by poorer nations on reducing greenhouse gas emissions as part of an international pact to slow down global warming. The cars are also contributing to high levels of air pollution in cities like Dhaka and Lagos, increasing the risk of lung diseases, respiratory illnesses and cancer, it added.