MINISTER of State in the Vice-President’s Office (Environment and Union) George Simbachawene has called for a limit on the importation of used cars to reduce gas emissions from old passenger vehicles.
In addition, the minister pushes for a reduction in the use of private cars, urging owners to resort to the use of public transport to cut down air pollution.
Mr Simbachawene said this in Dar es Salaam yesterday, when officiating at an international conference on climate change on behalf of Vice-President Samia Hassan Suluhu.
The conference is organised by the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) under the auspice of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Professorial Chair in Environment and Climate Change.
“There is a need to reduce the use of personal cars to reduce the emissions of fatal gases such as carbon monoxide which is detrimental to human health. Cars, especially the old imported ones, contribute to the production of fatal gases that lead to global warming,” he stressed.
He said some countries were shifting from the use of fossil fuel to electric cars which produced zero emissions as a way of controlling environmental hazards, a better move to curb global warming.
According to experts, transportation is one of the largest sources of greenhouse emissions, suggesting that there was a need for cleaner vehicle use to help reduce the emissions of fatal gases.
He urged environmental state actors, institutions and other stakeholders to collectively take action and put in place strategies to control environmental hazards.
The minister pointed out the strategies included the introduction of compulsory curriculum on environmental management and climate change in primary and secondary schools to impart knowledge to young generations and enable them to take part in environmental management.
Mr Simbachawene said the country had a good environmental management law, so there was a need for all stakeholders to abide by the law.
On the other hand, the minister said different climate change experts had been warning that Africa experienced disturbing climate change calling for leaders to take urgent action.
“As climate change bites, countries will have to adapt to higher temperatures and changed patterns of precipitation.
The question is not whether adaptation measures need to be taken but how and at what cost. Acting now is essential, as any delay will only mean a higher cost in the future,” he said.
He said recent reports noted that transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient economies would require massive investments.
He said between now and 2050, developing countries would need about $531bn per year of additional investment in energy supply and appropriate technologies if we wanted to keep below the agreed maximum temperature rise of 2 Celsius.
Speaking during the threeday conference, UDSM Vice- Chancellor, Prof William Anangisye, said the conference aimed at sharing experience and best practices and generate powerful messages to shape African policies and jointly explore how governments could effectively address climate change and its impacts on the physical and human environment.