On October 26, the United Nations Environment Program released the first research report on the global used car market. The titled “Used Cars and the Environment-A Global Overview of Used Light Vehicles:
Flow, Scale, and Regulations” points out that millions of used cars, vans and small buses are exported from Europe, the United States and Japan to developing countries. Usually low quality, not only aggravates air pollution, is often involved in traffic accidents, but also hinders efforts to tackle climate change.
The report shows that from 2015 to 2018, a total of 14 million second-hand light vehicles were exported globally. Of these, 80% went to low- and middle-income countries, and more than half went to Africa.
Based on an in-depth analysis of 146 countries, the report found that two-thirds of these countries have “weak” or “very weak” levels of import control policies for used cars. Anderson, Executive Director of the Environment Agency, said the lack of effective standards and regulations is the main cause of dumping of abandoned, polluting and unsafe vehicles.
Developed countries must stop exporting vehicles that have not passed their own environmental and safety inspections and are no longer suitable for driving on roads, while importing countries should introduce stricter quality standards.
The report pointed out that inferior second-hand cars also caused more road traffic accidents. Malawi, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and Burundi and other African countries that implement “very weak” or “weak” second-hand car regulations also have higher road traffic death rates.
The report calls on countries to fill the current policy gaps, unify the minimum quality standards for used cars, and ensure that imported used cars are clean and safe enough.