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Country announces plans to ban import of gas-powered vehicles with unprecedented new law: 'A decision has been made'

The groundbreaking and ambitious proposal is a stark departure from the rest of the world.

The groundbreaking and ambitious proposal is a stark departure from the rest of the world.

Photo Credit: iStock

Ethiopia announced earlier this year its plan to ban the import of all non-electric automobiles, becoming the first country to outlaw the entry of internal combustion engine vehicles. 

Electrek noted that specifics were scant but that the resolution served as a win for the nation's environmental impact and economy. "A decision has been made, that automobiles cannot enter Ethiopia unless they are electric ones," Minister for Transport and Logistics Alemu Sime said.

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As stated in its Ten Years Development Plan, officials want to reduce Ethiopia's output of planet-warming pollution from the transportation sector from 41 million metric tons (about 45 million tons) to 27.8 million metric tons (about 30.6 million tons) of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030.

Additionally, the country's Long-Term Low Emission And Climate Resilient Development Strategy report allocated $13.44 billion through 2050 toward charging stations, electric vehicles, and electric buses.

The East African country's plan came on the heels of its $6 billion investment in dirty energy last year, over half of which was used to power cars, according to Electrek. The outlet suggested that this spending was unsustainable and influenced the country's latest decision to ban gas-fueled cars. 

However, the most recent data from the World Bank shows that just over 54% of people in Ethiopia have access to electricity. Furthermore, there are potential financial barriers to purchasing EVs and the lack of charging infrastructure. As such, Sime noted that addressing the latter point remained a high priority. 

Nonetheless, the groundbreaking and ambitious proposal is a stark departure from the rest of the world, as many are waiting years to halt the sale of cars that run on dirty energy sources.

Greece, Iceland, the Netherlands, Singapore, Slovenia, and Sweden have all targeted 2030 to begin phasing out gasoline-based vehicles, per Statista. Meanwhile, the European Union approved a ban that will go into effect in 2035, joining the likes of Japan, Canada, and several U.S. states.

Nations like India, Mexico, and New Zealand are taking a more conservative approach and will initiate their ban in 2040, a Statista chart shows. Norway is currently the only other country that will implement such a ban this decade, aiming for 2025.

Though it's unclear what the exact details of Ethiopia's ban on dirty-energy-based automobiles will be, it will mark a huge step for the country to meet its pollution-reduction goals.

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