Regional meetings in Southeast Asia and South America bring together countries to prepare regional technical workplans for controlling black carbon emissions from diesel vehicles

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Participants at the 2018 ASEAN meeting in Bangkok

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius report showed that measures to dramatically reduce black carbon emissions are necessary to meet ambitious targets for climate change mitigation. About 30 percent of anthropogenic black carbon emissions are generated in the transport sector, but these can be effectively eliminated with a shift to soot-free engines meeting Euro 6/VI vehicle emission standards with fuels containing up to 10 parts per million sulfur, or a switch to gas, filter-equipped diesel, or zero emission electric drive engines.

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition's (CCAC) Heavy-Duty Vehicles Initiative published the Global Progress Towards Soot-Free Diesel Engines report in 2018, which estimates that two out of every three diesel engines will be soot-free in 2021. The remaining vehicles will be sold outside of the ten largest vehicle markets, requiring new efforts to support vehicle emission and fuel quality standards in regional markets. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is among the regional markets with the largest share of diesel black carbon emissions to be controlled, about equal in size to China.

The South American market, dominated by Brazil and including Argentina, Colombia, Chile, and Peru, produces the largest volume of black carbon emissions to be controlled after ASEAN. In order to realize new coordinated actions to control diesel black carbon in these regions, the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) on behalf of the CCAC Heavy-Duty Vehicles Initiative sponsored regional meetings in Southeast Asia and South America to define for the first time a set of regional technical workplans towards soot-free transport.

On September 26-27 in Buenos Aires, the ICCT, together with the Ministries of Energy and Environment of Argentina, the US EPA, and the G-20 Transport Task Group, held a South America Summit on Vehicle Emissions Control. Senior officials from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay and Chile presented common obstacles to vehicle compliance and enforcement, as well as to future adoption of soot-free Euro 6/VI vehicle emission and fuel quality standards. On behalf of the meeting participants, the ICCT will publish a final report summarizing the common obstacles to soot-free transport in the South America region, including a joint technical workplan on soot-free transport in South America.

On October 11-12 in Bangkok, the ICCT, together with the Thailand Pollution Control Department and the Regional Resource Center of the Asia Pacific (RRC.AP) at the Asian Institute of Technology, held a high level meeting on soot-free transport in ASEAN. Senior officials from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam as well as the chair of the Automotive Products Working Group of ASEAN shared their common obstacles to implementation of Euro 4/IV and Euro 6/VI vehicle emission and fuel quality standards. The meeting concluded with a joint technical workplan, identifying more than twenty process and knowledge obstacles to harmonizing soot-free emissions regulations in the ASEAN region. ICCT and AIT will prepare a final report containing the joint workplan as the basis for implementing soot-free transport in the ASEAN region. Thailand assumes the chair of ASEAN in 2019, during which time the government can choose to put soot-free transport on the ASEAN agenda.

Both reports will be published by the end of the year and made available on the CCAC website.

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