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African Countries Ban Dirty Diesel Imports from Europe

December 8, 2016

African Countries Ban Dirty Diesel Imports from Europe

ABUJA, Nigeria, December 8, 2016 (ENS) – Five more West African countries have agreed to ban the import of Europe’s dirty high-sulfur diesel fuel, a move that will slash vehicle emissions and help an estimated 250 million people breathe cleaner air.

Following Ghana’s announcement in November, the countries of Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire agreed on December 1, at a meeting convened by the UN Environmental Programme in Abuja, to introduce strict standards to ensure cleaner, low sulfur diesel fuel and tougher vehicle emissions standards.

A report by the Swiss nonprofit Public Eye in September exposed how European trading companies exploited the weak regulatory standards in West African countries, allowing for the export of fuels with sulfur levels up to 300 times higher than levels permitted in Europe.

The public pressure generated by media coverage of Public Eye’s report, “Dirty Diesel” as well as the campaigns by Public Eye’s partner organizations have led these five countries to announce the reduction of sulphur levels for imported diesel to 50 parts per million, or ppm.

In Togo, by comparison, sulphur levels in diesel can be as high as 10,000 ppm.

In Nigeria, the current limit is 3,000 ppm. As Africa’s largest fuel market, Nigeria’s move could trigger fuel improvements in other West African countries.

Read more at Environment News Service.

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