Leaded petrol eradicated – UNEP 

  • IASbaba
  • August 31, 2021
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Leaded petrol eradicated – UNEP 

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-III – Environment

Context: There is now no country in the world that uses leaded petrol for cars and lorries, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced.

Key Takeaways

  • Lead started being added to petrol in the early 1920s in order to improve engine performance.
  • Leaded Petrol has contaminated air, soil and water for almost a century.
  • It can cause heart disease, cancer and stroke, and has been linked to problems with brain development in children.
  • The UN’s environmental body UNEP has worked with governments, private companies and civic groups to end the use of leaded petrol since 2002.
  • Most high-income countries had banned the fuel by the 1980s, but it was only in July that Algeria –  the last country to use the fuel — exhausted its supplies.
  • Ending the use of leaded petrol will prevent more than one million premature deaths each year from heart disease, strokes and cancer, and it will protect children whose IQs are damaged by exposure to lead

About United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

  • The UNEP is a leading global environmental authority established on 5th June 1972 in the aftermath of Stockholm Conference (Declaration on the Human Environment).
  • Functions: It sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for global environment protection.
  • Major Reports: Emission Gap Report, Global Environment Outlook, Frontiers, Invest into Healthy Planet.
  • Major Campaigns: Beat Pollution, UN75, World Environment Day, Wild for Life.
  • Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya.
  • The UNEP engages in developing global conventions on the environment and related issues. It hosts the secretariats of various conventions such as:
    • Minamata Convention on Mercury
    • United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity
    • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
    • Basel Convention- Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes
    • Stockholm Convention – on Persistent Organic Pollutants
    • Rotterdam Convention – on Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade
    • Vienna Convention – Protection of the Ozone Layer
    • Montreal Protocol – on reducing substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
    • Convention on Migratory Species

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