Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Switch to Unleaded Petrol "In Sight" for Africa

23.01.2003


Voluntary Initiative, Born Out of WSSD, Set to Deliver Major Health and Environmental Benefits to Continent’s 800 Million Citizens



UNEP’s Governing Council 3 to 7 February: Environment for Development


An international effort to phase out lead, the health-hazardous heavy metal, from petrol is accelerating as increasing numbers of African countries switch to unleaded fuel.


Research, to be presented to environment ministers attending a key conference organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), indicates that within five years most African countries will have phased out, or be close to phasing out, lead from petrol.

A survey carried out by UNEP, which is a leading member of the global Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles, shows that four countries- Egypt, Libya, Mauritius and the Sudan- are already fully lead free. This year four other nations or dependent territories, Morocco, Reunion, Tunisia and Western Sahara will join them.

Meanwhile, a further 22 including Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Togo and Uganda have or are in the process of drawing up action plans to phase out leaded by 2005-2006 the research indicates.

Plans are under way to bring the remaining countries on board, many of whom are in Central Africa, in order to deliver the goal of a lead-free Continent and a lead free world.

Klaus Toepfer, UNEP’s Executive Director, said: “ It has been known for many years that lead in petrol or gasoline is a serious health risk particularly to children. Studies have demonstrated that children living near roads and in urban areas where leaded petrol is used, can suffer brain damage with symptoms including lower intelligence scores. This is why it has been phased out and banned in countries in Western Europe, North America, parts of the Far East and elsewhere and why it is being rapidly phased out in many other parts of the world”.

“But much of Africa, mainly for technological reasons, a lack of awareness of the health risks and misconceptions about the impact of unleaded fuels on the engines, has lagged behind. However, partly because of work already under way and the new impetus from the global Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles, the situation is rapidly changing and a lead free Africa is in sight. Lead is not the only pollutant they are targeting. Others include sulphur, which is linked with effects including smog and the acidification of waterways,” he said.

“This is one, if not the, first concrete outcome of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held six months ago in Johannesburg, South Africa. The voluntary initiative, a so-called Type II project, was born there with funding and support from Governments, the private sector including the oil and automobile industries, civil society and international organizations like UNEP. Let us hope that the success being achieved, bodes well for the other Type II voluntary partnerships in areas ranging from coral reefs to environmental law,” said Mr Toepfer.

He announced today that, as a small but symbolic push toward the lead-free goal, the on-site filling station at the United Nations headquarters in Kenya, which currently sells both leaded and unleaded petrol, will in future only sell unleaded fuel.

Rob De Jong, UNEP’s programme officer for urban environment, said there were a lot of motoring myths about leaded versus unleaded fuels which was making some vehicle owners reluctant to use the cleaner fuel.

“Many people who drive older cars are convinced that they will suffer engine damage if they fill up with unleaded fuel. But this really is not the case. Only under the extreme conditions of a laboratory test can effects be seen. In the real world, under normal motoring conditions prevailing in Africa, unleaded petrol works well if not better in most if not all vehicles. Unleaded petrol also allows motorists to drive vehicles with catalytic converters. This is another key health and environmental reason for using the cleaner fuels as they can reduce emissions by 90 per cent,’ he said.

The WSSD and its Plan of Implementation has targets and timetables for a wide range of sustainable development issues. In respect of leaded petrol, it calls for the rapid, global phase out, of this key pollutant. The work is also being guided by the Dakar Declaration of March 2002 in which countries backed a phase out of lead in petrol by 2005.

Nearly $500,000 has been pledged by partners for this. UNEP is acting as a “clearing house”, through which the various partners will be gathering and exchanging information on key issues including the status of phase-outs in developing countries.

UNEP will also be assisting in developing and implementing action plans, organizing workshops to help countries phase out lead in petrol as well as promote cleaner fuels and vehicles in general, bring in new partners and develop and distribute fact packs and other information materials to assist countries in informing consumers on the argument in favour of unleaded fuels.

Nick Nuttall | alfa

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

nachricht Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>