30 August, 2021, Johannesburg – The United Nations Environment Programme is set to announce the official end of leaded petrol today at 4pm CET. This global achievement comes after Algeria saw the last refinery in the world phase out of the toxic additive. Leaded fuel (tetraethyllead) has been causing ecosystem degradation, deaths and severe health issues, including for children. In the past two decades leaded fuel was still commonly used across low-income countries.
Thandile Chinyavanhu, Greenpeace Climate & Energy campaigner in South Africa:
“For Greenpeace, the end of leaded petrol is more than a celebration of the end of one toxic era. The phase-out of leaded petrol in Algeria last month – the last country in the world to have used Tetraethyllead – is a testament to the world’s ability to achieve a common goal – together.”
“It clearly shows that if we can phase out one of the most dangerous polluting fuels in the 20th century, we can absolutely phase out all fossil fuels. Africa’s governments must give no more excuses for the fossil fuel industry. Pulling off a just transition from dirty coal and other fossil fuels in South Africa and elsewhere in the continent will protect community health, avoid catastrophic climate change, and ensure decent employment for the youth.“
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