Ministers and High Level Representatives of Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) countries adopted and issued a communique reaffirming their commitment to improve air quality and slow the increasing rate of climate change by taking action to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon at the Coalition's High Level Assembly in Marrakech, Morocco. Recognizing that motor vehicles, especially diesel vehicles, are major contributors to air pollution and near term climate change, they endorsed the Global Strategy to Introduce Low-Sulfur Fuels and Cleaner Diesel Vehicles (the “Global Strategy”), and encouraged CCAC partners and other relevant stakeholders to implement its recommendations.
The Global Strategy is the first global roadmap detailing how small particulate and black carbon emissions from the global on-road diesel fleet can be reduced by over 90%. It was developed by the co-leads of the CCAC’s Heavy-Duty Diesel Initiative following a multi-year global analysis of fuel flows and refineries. The Global Strategy makes recommendations for specific actions in regions, countries, and cities, and presents a detailed way forward for how the world can transition to low-sulfur fuels and cleaner diesel vehicles within a decade by focusing on the local markets in which countries are operating and prioritizing near-term support in key countries.
The Case for Action on Diesels
Air pollution is now the 4th highest ranking risk for premature death globally (2013) and the world’s largest environmental health risk. Diesel exhaust is a significant contributor to this risk. In 2012, the World Health Organization classified diesel exhaust as a Class 1 carcinogen known to cause cancer – on par with tobacco smoke and asbestos.
The global on-road motor vehicle fleet is set to triple by 2050, and diesel engines dominate goods movement, construction equipment, and public transport vehicles in the global economy. 85% of road transportation is powered by diesel engines, which are significant sources of PM2.5 – in many cities the major source. Diesel exhaust also accounts for up to 99% of transport black carbon emissions.
Addressing diesel engine emissions through proven, cost-effective solutions would stem the anticipated climate and health impacts of rapid motorization worldwide.
Key Findings of the Global Strategy
The Global Strategy to Introduce Low-Sulfur Fuels and Cleaner Diesel Vehicles builds the case for a strategic global approach to control near-term climate change and air quality impacts from the growth in diesel engines around the world. Its findings include:
- Most industrialized countries have implemented standards for improved diesel fuel quality and engine emission controls. Many low-and middle-income countries have also begun implementing roadmaps for cleaner diesel fuels and vehicles. However, today more than half of the world’s countries still use high-sulfur fuels and even more countries lack advanced diesel vehicle standards.
- The Global Strategy provides a cost-effective global roadmap to reduce small particulate matter and black carbon emissions from the global on-road diesel fleet by 85% through the introduction of low-sulfur fuels and cleaner diesel vehicles.
- The Global Strategy calls on all countries which have not yet done so to introduce action plans for the immediate introduction of low sulfur diesel fuels of 50 parts per million (ppm) or less by 2025, with 10 ppm as the final target by 2030, and for the introduction of Euro IV or equivalent vehicle emissions standards, with Euro VI standards or equivalent as the final target.
- The implementation of the Global Strategy will prevent an estimated 100,000 premature deaths per year by 2030 globally, increasing to 500,000 premature deaths per year by 2050. The net present value of the health gains to 2050 in terms of avoided mortalities is estimated at USD 18 trillion, providing USD 16 in benefits for each dollar invested in cleaner diesel fuels and engines.
- It will also reduce cumulative emissions of diesel black carbon by an estimated 7.1 million metric tons through the year 2050.
The Global Strategy is available here. It guides the ongoing work of the CCAC’s Heavy Duty Diesel Initiative to reduce sulfur levels in fuels and improve vehicle emission standards, and is also an invitation to countries and organizations to partner with the CCAC in cleaning up the global on-road diesel fleet.
The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) is a global coalition that promotes accelerated actions to reduce short-lived climate pollutants which will lead to significant air quality benefits and help slow the rate of near-term climate warming.