Foundation support for Cleaner Fuels Partnership helps save lives

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Air pollution caused by vehicles is a major global health issue
Air pollution caused by vehicles is a major global health issue

FIA Foundation support is helping to save lives by supporting developing countries in their efforts to introduce cleaner vehicle fuels.

The FIA Foundation is a long-term supporter of the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV), which is hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and which works to achieve significant health and environmental benefits by eliminating lead and reducing sulphur levels in fuels. Lead in fuel is known to be highly toxic and has significant harmful impacts on brain development. Outdoor air pollution is estimated to cause over 3.7 million premature deaths each year worldwide, including through heart and lung diseases and respiratory conditions. Sulphur in fuel also contributes to emissions of black carbon (BC), which is now believed to be the second most important short-lived climate pollutant.

In the past year PCFV has made significant progress. Of the six countries which still had leaded petrol, three countries have now eliminated lead (Afghanistan, North Korean and Myanmar), while Algeria has set a phase-out date of March 2016. Even in Iraq, 8 out of 9 Iraqi refineries are now lead-free, although along with Yemen, there remains more to do before lead is completely eliminated. In terms of sulphur reduction, the news is also positive, with seven countries having implemented low sulphur diesel fuels during the past year - the five East African Countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi, as well as Argentina and Panama.

FIA Foundation support has helped PCFV develop a new capacity-building Clean Fuels and Vehicles Regulatory Toolkit which provides guidance to governments in implementing new regulations.

Sheila Watson, FIA Foundation Director of Environment said:

“Air pollution from vehicles is a growing, but in many ways invisible, killer which is becoming increasingly problematic in developing countries. The FIA Foundation’s support for the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles is making a real difference and is a key part of our work to ensure safe, clean, fair and green mobility for all”.