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The transport sector is a major contributor to ambient fine particles in major cities, and emits some 19% of global black carbon. Recent research has identified diesel vehicles and engines as one of the most attractive sectors for black carbon mitigation. Fine particles and black carbon from diesel vehicles and engines can be virtually eliminated through technologies that are present on half of new heavy-duty vehicles sold today.
The CCAC Heavy-Duty Diesel Vehicles and Engines Initiative (HDDI) works to catalyse major reductions in black carbon through adoption of clean fuel and vehicle regulations and supporting policies. Efforts focus on diesel engines in all economic sectors.
Fine particles penetrate deep into the lungs. A recent study of leading public health risks ranked ambient fine particle pollution ninth among all risk factors in 2010, contributing to 3.7 million deaths in 2012. Black carbon is the second largest contributor to human-induced climate warming to-date, after carbon dioxide. All major OECD economies have dramatically reduced fine PM and BC emissions from heavy-duty diesel vehicles through a combination ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and diesel emission control technologies; there is up to a 99 per cent removal efficiency with diesel particulate filters.
Desulfurization refers to the gradual move to low sulfur fuels. Most developed countries have now moved to fuels with a sulfur content of 50 parts per million or even 15 or 10 parts per million (ppm). Reducing fuel sulfur levels is a vital precondition for reducing the health impacts associated with transportation. Fuel sulfur directly increases production of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in vehicle exhaust. PM2.5 is a dangerous pollutant associated with heart disease, lung cancer, and a range of other harmful health effects. Low sulfur fuels are necessary for cleaner engines (for example high compression diesel engines) and high fuel sulfur levels also interfere with the performance of vehicle emissions control equipment designed to remove small particulates and other pollutants from the exhaust stream (for example particulate filters and catalysts).
Green freight refers to the efforts of the freight sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants and improve fuel efficiency across the global supply chain while maintaining competitiveness and economic growth. By reducing the amount of energy (i.e., fuel use) associated with freight transport through a range of measures, businesses can reduce costs and become more competitive. These efficiency measures invariably lead to emissions savings that result in broader benefits for society and the environment. Freight movement is largely driven by diesel-powered cargo vessels, trucks, and trains. While diesels are the workhorses of the transport sector and relatively energy efficient (as compared to gasoline vehicles or jet aircrafts), their combined contribution to transportation-related climate warming greenhouse gases and other short-lived climate pollutants, particularly black carbon, is significant.
If you want to collaborate with us to reduce short-lived climate pollutants, we encourage you to explore engagement options on this website and to contact the Secretariat to discuss further.