UNEP: Leaded petrol eradicated from the world

According to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), use of leaded petrol has been eradicated from the globe.

Highlights

  • UNEP highlighted, this milestone will prevent more than 1.2 million premature deaths and save over USD 2.4 trillion annually for world economies.
  • This milestone was achieved century after doctors first issued warnings regarding the toxic effects of leaded petrol, Algeria (last country to use the fuel) exhausted the supplies in July 2021.
  • It is a big milestone for global health and environment as well.
  • UNEP also warned that, use of fossil fuel must still be drastically reduced, in general, to do away with the frightening effects of climate change.

Background

During 1970s, almost all the gasoline that used to be sold worldwide contained lead. The UNEP launched its campaign called “Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV)” for eradication of ‘leaded petrol’ in 2002. Major economies including United States, China and India had already stopped using fuel in 2002. But, the situation in lower-income countries was critical. Concerns regarding the leaded petrol were first raised in 1924.

Impact of leaded petrol

  1. Use of leaded petrol in transport sector is responsible for about quarter of energy-related global greenhouse gas emissions. It is set to grow to one third by the year 2050.
  2. Leaded petrol causes major health problems like heart disease, stroke and cancer.
  3. Leaded petrol also impacts the development of human brain.

Significance of eradication

Eradication of leaded petrol is expected to support realization of multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) like good health & well-being, clean water, clean energy, sustainable cities, climate action and life on land.

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