The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has said that Nigeria and four other West African countries have agreed to ban the importation of Europe’s dirty fuels, The Punch reports.
The UNEP said the move would dramatically reduce vehicle emissions and help more than 250 million people to breathe safer and cleaner air. It said together, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire agreed on December 1 in Abuja to introduce strict standards to ensure cleaner, low sulphur diesel fuels and vehicles emission standards, effectively cutting off Europe’s West African market to export its dirty fuels.
UNEP noted that a report by Public Eye in September this year exposed how European trading companies were exploiting the weak regulatory standards in West African countries, allowing for the exportation of fuels with sulphur levels up to 300 times higher than was permitted in Europe. The West African group has also agreed to upgrade the operations of their national refineries to produce fuels of the same standards by 2020.