Experts from 55 European countries have agreed a draft strategy to phase out sales of leaded petrol (gasoline) by 2005 at the latest. Agreement was reached on Friday following 18 months of negotiations. Environment ministers are due to adopt the strategy at the Environment for Europe conference in Århus, Denmark, in June. Signatories will be politically, though not legally, committed to reduce the average lead content of petrol to a maximum of 0.15 grams/litre by 2000 and to ensure unleaded petrol has at least an 80% market share by 2002. At the same time, average levels of benzene and other aromatics should not increase. The negotiating group has recorded current market shares for leaded and unleaded petrol in all European countries. Surprisingly, this shows that some central and eastern European countries already have a higher proportion of unleaded petrol than some southern EU states.
Danish environment ministry, tel: +45 32 66 02 95.
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