Millions of used cars, vans and minibuses exported from Europe, the United States and Japan to the developing world are of poor quality, contributing significantly to air pollution and hindering efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change, according to a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
The report shows that the three largest exporters of used vehicles—the European Union (EU), Japan, and the United States of America (USA)—exported 14 million used light duty vehicles (LDVs) worldwide between 2015 and 2018. The EU was the largest exporter with 54% of the total followed by Japan (27%) and the USA (18%). Some 80% went to low- and middle-income countries, with more than half going to Africa.
Used Vehicles and the Environment – A Global Overview of Used Light Duty Vehicles: Flow, Scale and Regulation, the first report of its kind, calls for action to fill the current policy vacuum with the adoption of harmonized minimum quality standards that will ensure used vehicles contribute to cleaner, safer fleets in importing countries.
The fast-growing global vehicle fleet is a major contributor to air pollution and climate change; globally, the transport sector is responsible for nearly a quarter of energy-related global greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, vehicle emissions are a significant source of the fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) that are major causes of urban air pollution.
Green Car Congress, 28 October 2020