Expert sounds alarm on used cars impact on environment

March 26, 2018 12:28 pm
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According to UNEP, vehicles account for 80 per cent of the carbon emissions and the percentage is due to increase in the importation of second hand cars into the country/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 26 – Kenya’s policy on second hand vehicles has been faulted and termed hazardous to the environment, with watchdogs calling for a change to the importation policy to curb pollution.

According to UNEP, vehicles account for 80 per cent of the carbon emissions and the percentage is due to increase in the importation of second hand cars into the country.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) head of mobility Rob De Long, said with the current increase in the number of boda bodas operating in the country, there is a cause for alarm due to high carbon emissions specifically in the major cities.

“In as much as the country is working on efficient transport network they should integrate and link it with environment agendas. Currently in Nairobi have more motorcycles than cars. The surprising thing is that all of the motorcycles and vehicles are using dirty technologies with old cars importation being key to this,” Long said.

Long further called for strict laws to be implemented to ensure clean energy use, terming the famous Michuki laws in 2004 as a clear proof that change was possible with the correct policy application and implementation.

He further urged the car buyers to think of environmental friendly cars and said the price for an eco friendly car in Kenya is almost the same as that of an imported second hand car.

“The current price of a second hand vehicle is almost one million which is almost the same as that of an eco friendly car. This begs the question that, are we doing a bad thing in a good way or is it the vice versa. My urge to car owners and buyers is to consider purchasing eco friendly vehicles,” he said.

Long who spoke during a pedestrian safety study in Nairobi, said he feared for African countries and their environmental well being with most of the European Union countries planning to do away with the diesel cars by the year 2050 to help reduce on the carbon dioxide emissions.

Long asked the country to emulate cities such as Copenhagen in ensuring an effective transport unit in the country as well as having a clean mobility system is devised.

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