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Older gasoline vehicles in developing countries and economies in transition: Their importance and the policy options for addressing them .

Paris/Nairobi, February 2000 - Over the past 50 years the world's vehicle population has grown fifteen-fold. It now exceeds 700 million units and will soon reach 1 billion units. Most vehicles are still found in the highly industrialized countries of the OECD, but an increasing number of urban areas in developing countries and in Central and Eastern Europe are heavily congested. The benefits of increased mobility and flexibility have been at least partially offset by pollution and its adverse effects on human health and the environment.

Many countries have required auto manufacturers to introduce advanced technologies for new vehicles so as to reduce emissions of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and toxic substances. Vehicles manufactured before tight standards went into effect, however, or which have had their pollution controls damaged or destroyed as they aged, remain a serious concern in many countries. The issue of exactly how to reduce emissions from older, higher polluting vehicles is a challenge to policy makers, particularly where they constitute a large percentage of the vehicle fleet. This is often the case for developing countries, where economic conditions encourage imports of used vehicles that then remain on the road well beyond the time they would in wealthier countries.

The joint UNEP/OECD publication Older Gasoline Vehicles helps policy makers select the best options and programmes for controlling emission from old vehicles. It offers policy makers the opportunity to compare the strategies and experiences of other countries in their efforts to reduce automotive emissions. The publication examines the pros and cons of Inspection and Maintenance programmes, approaches that stress vehicle retrofits, accelerated retirement programmes, and the use of alternative fuels. It pays particular attention to the issue of leaded gasoline, and the benefits that result from an accelerated phaseout of this particular fuel additive. An appendix describes the major types of vehicle emissions and their health and environmental concerns. Older Gasoline Vehicles has numerous examples and case studies that make policy lessons real.

The publication follows from a consultative meeting organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); its preparation was supported by a contribution from the International Lead Management Center.


ISBN 92-807-1796-9

Price: US$ 30

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In Nairobi, please contact:
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UNEP, P.O. Box 30552, Nairobi, Kenya.
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UNEP Information Note 00/11

Thursday 17 Feb 2000
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