Cars too dangerous and dirty for rich countries are being sold to poor ones

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A customer checks out a car at a used car shop in Nairobi in 2017. | Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images

So why are these cars considered good enough for Africa?

A new report shows that the European Union, Japan, and the United States are selling millions of used cars to developing countries that come nowhere close to meeting minimum safety and environmental standards.

In other words, rich countries are dumping high-polluting cars on poorer ones — which could have disastrous and unjust climate effects.

The report, released by the UN Environment Program this month, found that developing countries received 14 million used cars from the EU, Japan, and the US between 2015 and 2018. 70 percent of this total ended up in developing countries, with more than half sent to African countries.

Many of those nations don’t require strict inspection rules or safety standards, which is how richer countries are still able to export their junk cars. What’s more, those cars rarely adhere to modern-day environmental standards, meaning they pollute more than newer cars.

This is a major problem. The World Health Organization estimates about 90 percent of road accidents occur in low- to…



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