First modification: 08/31/2021 – 01:05
The world’s last leaded gasoline stocks ran out last month, after a nearly two-decade campaign led by UNEP to end its use. This measure will save 1.2 million lives each year and save more than 2.4 trillion dollars.
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP, according to its acronym) proclaimed the official end of the use of leaded gasoline in the world, after the service stations in Algeria stopped supplying this fuel.
Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General, celebrated the disappearance of this toxic substance for humans and the environment: “today we celebrate a milestone for multilateralism, the culmination of a united global effort to rid the world of lead in gasoline and measures for human and planetary health ”.
It was in 1922 that the use of tetraethyl lead began to be used as a gasoline additive to achieve better engine performance. The idea was patented by the American engineer Thomas Midgley (1889-1944), the father of chlorofluorocarbon compounds (CFCs), which were devised for refrigeration systems, but which over the years have collaborated in the destruction of the ozone layer.
Although lead toxicity has been recognized since Roman times, in the 1970s almost all fuel produced in the world contained lead. By 1980, most developed countries had already banned the use of gasoline with this substance. And although UNEP started a campaign to phase out the use of lead in 2002 under the name ‘Alliance for Clean Fuels and Vehicles’, at least 86 countries were still using it.
For Inger Anderson, director of UNEP, the use of lead in gasoline is “the kind of mistakes that humanity has been making at all levels of our societies. The kind of mistakes that have led us to the triple planetary crisis: the climate change crisis, the crisis of biodiversity loss and the pollution crisis. “
Lead handling and health implications
WHO studies have shown that gasoline with lead additives causes heart disease, stroke, cancer and contributes to premature death in humans. However, what has most concerned experts is the impact on the development of children, since exposure to this pollutant can reduce the IQ between five and 10 points.
The WHO explains that lead can accumulate in the bones, during pregnancy it is released into the blood and becomes a source of exposure for the fetus. There are even studies that have linked the high rates of violence in the United States to the exposure of this heavy metal.
“After a century of death and disease that affected hundreds of millions of people and degraded the global environment, we are determined to set the course for humanity with an accelerated transition to electric mobility and the use of clean vehicles,” he said. Andersen.
IT’S OFFICIAL: 🚨 The world has ended the era of leaded gasoline 🚨
This is a historic achievement for people’s health and 🌎!
✅ More than 1.2 million deaths will be avoided.
✅ US $ 2.45 trillion will be saved to the world economy
– UN Environment Program (@unep_espanol) August 30, 2021
End of Leaded Gasoline – $ 2.44 Trillion Savings
According to UNEP, the end of leaded gasoline will mean a saving for the world economy of 2.44 trillion dollars, that is, 2.07 trillion euros at the current exchange rate, in addition to avoiding more than 1.2 million premature deaths each anus.
According to the UN environmental body, about 1.23 billion new vehicles will hit the road in the coming decades, and many will use fossil fuels.
The transport sector is responsible for almost 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and this proportion is expected to increase to 33.3% by 2050.
“Now we have to overturn the same commitment to end the triple crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. We have to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy, we need global mobility without emissions. We must reform our energy, food and financial systems to create a world of peace that works with nature, not against it. ” Guterres stated from his headquarters in Nairobi.
With Reuters and EFE