In his opening remarks, Mark Radka, Chief – Energy and Climate Branch, at the UN Environment spoke of the achievements made by the PCFV in the elimination of leaded petrol worldwide even when such issues were not a priority in many countries. He talked of the need to align the PCFV goals to climate change mitigation as there were synergies in some of the solutions.
Partners expressed their satisfaction with the progress made in the introduction of cleaner fuels in many developing country -regions. Through PCFV’s leadership, today only two countries are yet to eliminate leaded petrol with thirty-six countries switching to low and ultra-low sulphur fuels. However, partners voiced their concerns that the full benefit of improvement in urban air quality from cleaner fuels, would not be fully realized unless the pace of introduction of complementary cleaner vehicle technologies was enhanced. Since 2012, only 15 countries had introduced Euro 4 equivalent vehicle emission standards mainly in the Latin America and the Asia regions.
The two working groups formed at the last global partners meeting to discuss the issue of lubricants and used vehicles also presented their findings. The key outcome of the lubricants working group was that as countries move to introduce cleaner vehicle standards (Euro 5/V and 6/IV), lubricants will play an important role in emissions reduction. It is therefore paramount that “the right lubricants are used for the right vehicles”. The used vehicles working group shared a summary of proposed strategies that used vehicles importing and exporting countries could employ to improve safety, fuel economy and emissions.
The FIA Foundation briefed partners about the TRUE Initiative that is carrying out real world vehicle emissions testing in London and Paris. These tests show that vehicles on the road are emitting 5 to 35 times higher harmful pollutants than is declared at the time of vehicle manufacture. These results led to the Mayor of London implementing some policy decisions to reduce vehicle emissions such as requiring the black taxis to convert to LPG fuel use. IPIECA, a global oil and gas industry association, also presented its latest fuel sulphur guidance report Afton Chemicals’ update on fuel sampling findings in selected countries, and Stratas Advisors’ overview of global fuel improvements were also presented to partners.
Partners were also informed of other initiatives that are closely linked to the PCFV goals namely the Global Fuel Economy Initiative which promotes vehicle fuel efficiency, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition that supports reduction of short-lived climate pollutants, UN Environment’s Electric Mobility Program, and Towards Zero Foundation that is supporting a campaign on zero fatalities and zero emissions.
Following the two days of deliberation, partners agreed to continue to focus on the 3 campaigns of the PCFV - to eliminate lead in petrol worldwide, reduce sulphur levels in fuels and promote cleaner vehicle standards. The partnership will also link closely with other programs that promote its goals.
Below is a summary of the discussion and next steps:
- The PCFV’s success can be attributed to the narrow focus and specific targets in promoting cleaner fuels and vehicles in developing and transitional countries. The PCFV will thus continue to focus on the elimination of leaded petrol in the last remaining countries, lowering of sulphur levels in fuels and adoption of vehicle emission standards.
- While it was noted that cleaner fuels go beyond the issue of lead and sulphur as other pollutants like benzene are also harmful to health, it was agreed that the PCFV continues to focus on the two parameters – lead and sulphur in fuels.
- Since the overall goal of the PCFV is to improve urban air quality in developing and transitional countries, this objective would only be realized if programs to help ensure improved in-use, real world emissions and vehicle maintenance were also introduced at the country level, such as inspection and maintenance (I&M) programs, programs to help ensure that vehicles use the right lubricants, and other best practices. The PCFV will continue to advocate for implementation of these best practices at the country and regional level.
- There is merit in linking the PCFV work with other initiatives/interventions that promote cleaner fuels and vehicles. Some of these initiatives/interventions include the Global Fuel Economy Initiative, the safer vehicles program, the TRUE Initiative, and others.
- Used vehicles imports will continue to play an integral part in the PCFV objectives of promoting cleaner vehicles, since many developing and transitional countries predominately import used vehicles. The PCFV will continue to promote import of at least Euro 4 equivalent vehicle emission standards.
- Higher-performing lubricants enable advanced emission controls to work properly and protect engines throughout their useful life. As countries import advanced vehicles (e.g., Euro 5/V or 6/VI), the need to use the “right oils for the right vehicles” will become more important. The PCFV will support efforts to help ensure that vehicle owners use the right oils for their vehicles.