NEW CARS==POLLUTION

THE FOLLOWING NEWS ITEM APPEARED APRIL 20,2007

NEWS ASIA-PACIFIC
Indonesia may ban new cars
There are more than 2.5 million private cars and 3.8 million motorcycles in Jakarta alone [AP]
Indonesia may ban the sale of new cars in an effort to cut air pollution in the country's ever-growing urban areas.

Rachmat Witoelar, the state minister for the environment, admitted that a freeze on the sale of new cars would cost thousands of Indonesians their jobs.

But pollution from transportation was doing more damage in terms of global warming than emissions from Indonesian factories, the Jarkata Post quoted him as saying.

The government said there are more than 2.5 million private cars and 3.8 million motorcycles in the capital Jakarta, but just 255,000 public transportation vehicles.

The data also shows private car ownership rising by at least 11 per cent a year.

Rachmat said that "if we don't take further action, the numbers of cars and motorcycles will exceed our country's population".

The freeze on car sales would be part of a national programme where cities will be ranked based on air quality.

"If there is no progress in restoring air quality, we will [stop car sales completely]," Rachmat said.

"It is a bitter pill to take, but it is for the sake of public health."

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