by Fatima Aruri
RAMALLAH, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Central West Bank cities of Ramallah and Al-Bireh installed the first electric car charging stations to keep up with the world's eco-friendly approach to fighting pollution and global warming.
The first station was installed as the fully electric cars are being sold for the first time in Palestinian territories.
"The electric cars don't produce any carbon dioxide or noise and help preserve a sustainable environment, which we hope to spread in Palestine and can contribute to the global environmental protection efforts," said Mira Abu Shousheh, head of marketing and communications at a local car company.
The Palestinian Authority is trying to facilitate such eco-friendly practices by improving regulations, and help the private sector meet the policy improvements recommended by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
According to an IEA report, the global sales volume of electric cars in 2017 soared 54 percent to a record 1.1 million, leading to a global stock of more than 3 million.
Now, the Palestinians are also catching up through importing electric cars, while the Environment Quality Authority is making necessary amendments to the rules and regulations, according to Adala Al-Attireh, chief of the Palestinian environment authority.
The Palestinians are making plans to adapt to a more environmentally-friendly economy and to reduce pollution emissions, said Al-Attireh.
"In addition to its advantages in reducing exhaust emission and consumption of fuels, electric cars are economic. They save more for the ordinary citizens. Therefore, we consider it a pioneering step for the Palestinians," she explained.
Ramallah is the first Palestinian city and the second in the Arab world that joined the 100 Resilient Cities Network, an initiative proposed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that prompts participating cities to provide more efficient and eco-friendly services.
Khaled Ghazal, head of Ramallah Municipality's Waste and Maintenance Department, said the electric car project, which is still at its "pilot stage," is part of the Palestinians' efforts to meet the global standards for environment protection.
Ramallah, 19 square km in area and with a population of almost 70,000, is considered the political and economic hub for the Palestinian Authority, while its adjacent twin city Al-Bireh is home to around 90,000 people.