UN warns of air pollution in developing countries due to old cars

Removing old cars is helping to clean up the skies in developed countries, but the United Nations has warned that as those old cars end up in developing countries, air pollution is becoming more significant.

Japan Between 2015 and 2018, the United States and European countries exported and sold about 3 million old cars. Those older cars are sold to low- and middle-income countries, and more than half end up in Africa, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) said Monday.

When developed countries export and sell cars, there is information about the environment and the lack of safety. UNEP urges to stop the export and sale of cars that are not suitable for driving on the roads of the respective countries. Similarly, UNEP said that the countries that receive car exports should strictly handle the standards of cars.

A 2019 investigation by Dutch officials found that an 18-year-old vehicle with more than 200,000 kilometers (125,000 miles) was ready to be shipped.

Two-thirds of the 146 countries have weak bans on older cars, and some have no air pollution controls, according to the UNEP report.