The Global Sulfur Strategy

The Global Strategy to Introduce Low Sulfur Fuels and Cleaner Diesel Vehicles – the first global plan to reduce small particulate and black carbon emissions from cars, buses and trucks by over 90% by 2030.

The result of worldwide implementation of the strategy would be a reduction in annual PM2.5 and black carbon emissions from on-road vehicles by over 85%, resulting in 100,000/yr fewer premature deaths in 2030, and 470,000/year fewer in 2050. In addition, implementing the Global Strategy would reduce cumulative black carbon emissions by 7.1 million tons by 2050.

As of 2020, the CCAC Heavy-Duty Vehicles Initiative has supported a total of 61 countries and is engaging with 28 major cities worldwide.


At the CCAC December 2016 High Level Assembly, 36 countries recognized and fully endorsed the Global Sulfur Strategy’s approach and targets.  The Marrakech Communique countries pledged to reduce black carbon emissions through cleaner diesel fuels and vehicles “by: adopting, maintaining, and enforcing world-class diesel fuel quality and tailpipe emissions standards for on road light and heavy-duty vehicles in our markets.”

Formulated by the co-leads of the Heavy-Duty Vehicles Initiative (the Government of the United States of America, the Government of Canada, the Government of Switzerland, the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Council on Clean Transportation), the strategy provides specific recommendations for action country-by-country based on market analysis, a refinery analysis, a health benefits analysis and several case studies.

The global countdown on desulfurization means: low sulfur diesel (50 ppm) phased in for most countries by 2020 and for all remaining countries by 2025, followed by ultra low-sulfur fuel (10 ppm) would represent the majority of global on-road fuel supply by 2030.

Matching vehicle standards to these cleaner fuels can prevent an estimated 500,000 premature deaths per year by 2050.

The total costs of desulfurization and vehicle emission controls are estimated at around $1.1 trillion to 2050; the benefits in terms of avoided mortalities to 2050 is estimated at $18 trillion; benefits outweigh costs by over 16:1.

However, these global benefits will only materialize if we accelerate action in all developing markets.

Pollutants (SLCPs)