CCAC Heavy-Duty Vehicles and Engines Hub - Insight Meeting | Global Sulfur Strategy


On 8 February 2023, the CCAC welcomed Rob de Jong and June Yeonju Jeong from UNEP and Francisco Posada from ICCT to present progress made in the implementation of the Global Sulphur Strategy. Jim Blubaugh and Samantha Pryor from the US EPA moderated the session. A brief summary of some of the key points raised in the presentations and in the Q & A session and information about the presenters are as follows: 

Summary of the Presentations

Rob de Jong - UNEP 

  • The relative share of heavy-duty vehicles is increasing, and by 2030 an estimated 40% of emissions will be coming from heavy duty vehicles. 
  • There has been a dual focus on introducing clean fuel and vehicle standards. Since the introduction of the 2016 Global Sulfur Strategy there has been great progress with regards to fuel standards with 43 countries having committed to moving towards low sulfur fuels. There has also been a realization that vehicle standards cannot only focus on new vehicles but must also regulate used vehicles that are being imported. 
  • Progress in Africa: 
    • The 5 East African countries had already adopted 50 ppm diesel standards in 2015, the sub-region adopted EURO IV vehicle emission standards in 2022  
    • The 15 ECOWAS countries adopted regionally harmonised fuel and vehicle emission standards  
    • SADC Ministers made a decision to shift to low sulfur diesel by 2022 and 11 of the 16 countries have fully implemented 50 ppm diesel standards 
  • Progress in Latin America and the Caribbean: 
    • 5 countries adopted 50 and below ppm diesel standards  
    • Colombia and Peru have adopted concurrent vehicle emissions standards to Euro VI 
    • Barbados, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Panama do not have concurrent HDV emissions standards  
    • The 8 Central American countries (SICA) have developed an action plan and roadmap for fuels and vehicles 
  • Progress in Asia 
    • 7 countries already adopted 50 ppm diesel standards  
    • 9 countries have already adopted Euro-4 equivalent or lower vehicle emissions standards  
    • 10 countries in the ASEAN sub-region adopted Fuel Economy Roadmap  
    • Average fuel consumption per 100 km of new light-duty vehicles sold in ASEAN is reduced by 26 percent between 2015 and 2025.  
    • UNEP-ICCT working on Euro-6/IV roadmap for HDV with ASEAN 
  • The initial 2016 Global Sulfur Strategy had a national focus, however the prevalence of trans-national trade has allowed the strategy to evolved to focus on regulation and standards across regions. 

Francisco Posada – ICCT 

  • ICCT worked in the Republic of South Africa to develop a cost and benefit analysis which provided arguments in favour of transitioning to soot-free vehicles in South Africa. South Africa is a strategically important player in the region as they export across the continent so change in South Africa reduces the barriers for technological transition across Africa. 
  • ICCT calculated that delaying the introduction of 10ppm sulfur diesel and Euro VI standards for 5 years would result in a net welfare loss of approximately 3 billion USD, and an additional 5,097 premature deaths. 
  • ICCT and UNEP have been working together on a workshop series on ASEAN Soot-free Heavy-Duty Vehicles and Fuels. Representatives from across the region have attended and the focus has included the transition to Soot-free Heavy-Duty Vehicles and Fuels, accelerating the adoption of Euro VI and E-HDVs, and technical workshops on Clean Fuels and Emissions Standards and electrification. 

Q&A Session Highlights: 

  • The meaning of leapfrogging was discussed. One conception was the absence of a need to move linearly through the Euro standards, instead these countries may benefit from jumping straight to Euro 6. This concept was then developed by discussing whether to leapfrog diesel technology entirely, and move straight to electrification, as the fleet that is purchased today will likely say on the road for the next two decades.  
  • Although there has been great progress across Africa there remains a lot to be done in terms of implementing standards, particularly upscaling from national to regional regulation. Beyond this, there is a difference between adopting a standard and implementing a standard, including how we monitor the import of used vehicles and ensure that their filters are still working. 
  • The point was raised that there is a need to think strategically about making a coherent argument to support investments in moving to low sulfur fuel that need a long timeframe to be financially recovered, whilst also pushing the electrification mandate that is necessary to achieve our climate goals. There is a need to think more from a financial perspective to bring these two together. 

About the Presenters

About Rob 

Rob de Jong holds an Engineer’s Degree in Environmental Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Policy from the University of Nijmegen in The Netherlands. Prior to joining the United Nations he worked as a consultant and he worked for the Netherlands Government. In 1996 he joined UN-HABITAT to work for the joint UNEP/ UN-HABITAT Sustainable Cities Programme, supporting cities to develop their urban environmental planning and management capacities. In 1998 he joined UNEP to work on urban environment issues. In 2000 he became the Special Assistant for the Director of the Division of Policy Development and Law in UNEP. From 2002 to 2008 he set up and managed UNEP’s Urban Environment Unit. In 2008 Rob set up and headed the Transport Unit, which was later changed in the Sustainable Mobility Unit. The Unit is based at UNEP’s Headquarters in Nairobi.

The Unit’s work focuses on reducing the environmental impact of the transport sector, especially air pollution and climate emissions. It includes programs on cleaner fuels, cleaner and more efficient vehicles; non-motorised transport; clean busses, electric mobility, including electric 2&3 wheelers. The Unit is leading and implementing major global sustainable transport initiatives including the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV); the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI); the Share the Road programme (StR), the Electric Mobility (eMob) programme, and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC).

About June Yeongju 

June Yeonju Jeong works at the Sustainable Mobility Unit of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), leading the Unit’s activities in Asia and the Pacific. She also coordinates the unit’s work on reducing the air quality and near-term climate impacts of diesel emissions from on-road heavy-duty vehicles as part of UNEP’s role within the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

She holds an M.Sc degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Seoul National University. Prior to joining UNEP in 2017, Yeonju worked on issues including city-wide infrastructure needs assessment, overseas construction market analysis and urban gentrification issues for municipal governments and ministries.

About Francisco 

Francisco is ICCT's South East Asia Regional Lead and Senior Researcher with expertise in vehicle technology and policy. His work focuses on developing roadmaps for emerging markets in their quest towards electromobility and decarbonizing the transport sector and supporting governments in implementing those plans. He leads projects on real-world vehicle emissions, including the testing that sparked Dieselgate. Francisco holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Valle, Colombia, as well as a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from West Virginia University.