Due to the higher amount of carbon emissions from gasoline vehicles and due to the current air pollution in urban areas, the government has decided to give priority to the promotion of electric vehicles when importing vehicles in the future, Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.
While addressing the fourteenth session of the New National Environment Council yesterday at the Ministry, he said 71% of the fuel imported to our country is used for motor vehicles.
Most carbon emissions occur from vehicles idling in one place for long periods, but not from speeding and moving vehicles, Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.
“The speed limit in Colombo has been reduced to 6 km/h during peak hours. The Cabinet Memorandum in this regard was submitted for this purpose and was approved by the Cabinet, ” he said.
Moreover, the government has plans to launch a shuttle bus service next year using large, low-floor buses for transportation in urban areas, Minister Amaraweera said.
“It is our responsibility to create the necessary environmental conditions for people in our urban areas to breathe fresh air. There is heavy traffic during the day in the densely populated urban areas, including Colombo, Galle, Kurunegala, and Kandy.Therefore, the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) was instructed by the Minister to purchase new equipment to measure the carbon content of the atmosphere in those urban areas as well as the noise pollution from tooting horns by heavy vehicles,” Minister Amarawera said.
The testing of atmospheric conditions in urban areas is not yet at a satisfactory level, and the Minister advised implementing the new systems from next year.
Because of the COVID pandemic, we are wearing face masks and, in the future, we will have to use more advanced face masks to prevent the ingestion of poisonous gases, sometimes for 24 hours, the Minister added.