The international importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions with the use of clean diesel technology was highlighted by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a special event hosted by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition in Stockholm, Sweden on June 3. This follows other recent international forums like the G-8 Summit and Bonn Climate Change Conference where the goal of reducing emissions is garnering attention at the highest policy levels in the U.S. and international stage.
Secretary Clinton stated that “we know we cannot solve this crisis without the active cooperation and, indeed, the leadership of the private sector, particularly oil and gas companies, makers of diesel trucks, green tech companies that can help turn methane from landfills into clean energy.”
Because more than 90% of all global trade and an increasing number of automobiles are powered by diesel engines, advancements in clean diesel technology are gaining international attention, says Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.
“Secretary Clinton recognizes the leadership of the makers of diesel trucks and the private sector in her call for an international cooperative effort to reduce climate pollutants,” Schaeffer says. “The U.S. diesel engine manufacturers are continuing to build on their decades of research and progressive technological improvements which have resulted in new diesel engines that are near zero in emissions.
“Because of the unique combination of power, performance, energy efficiency, reliability and low emissions, diesel engines are the undisputed workhorse of the global economy, powering 16 'super-sectors' including agriculture, construction, goods movement, mining and industrial applications, among others. The global economic importance of diesel technology is matched only by its advancements in reducing emissions and reducing fuel consumption.
“As international leaders and coalitions seek consensus on actions to improve air quality and impact climate change in the near term, increased attention is being focused on existing and proven technologies like clean diesel that is fuel efficient and has near zero emissions.”
Progressive Improvements in Diesel Technology Has Reduced Emissions From Trucks and Buses By Over 98%
“Over the last 10 years in the United States, emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses have been reduced by 99% for nitrogen oxides (NOx) - an ozone precursor - and 98% for particulate emissions,” Schaeffer says. “Critical to this progress has been the availability of ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel which has reduced sulfur emissions by 97% – from 500 PM to 15 PM - enabling advanced emissions control devices.”
New Research Highlights How Clean Diesel Technology Has Improved Public Health and Is Addressing Climate Change
- In a special presentation on May 24, 2012 to the California Air Resource Board (CARB) in Sacramento, CA, leading international scientists noted a 50% reduction of black carbon in ambient air over the past 20 years due primarily to advancements in clean diesel technology. Mary Nichols, Chairman of the ARB stated: “It is encouraging to see that CARB’s diesel regulations, while designed to improve public health are also addressing climate change.”
- In its March 2012 Report to Congress on Black Carbon (BC), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated: “[T]he United States will achieve substantial BC emissions reductions by 2030, largely due to controls on new mobile diesel engines.“ The report also recognizes the challenges in reducing emissions from both mobile and stationary diesel engines in developing countries such as Asia, Latin America and Africa since they typically do not have ready access to cleaner low sulfur fuels that are required for most advanced emissions control technologies.
- A new study released on April 12, 2012 by the Health Effects Institute (HEI) provides important new insights on the advancements in clean diesel technology and ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. The peer-reviewed study was conducted to test the emissions and health effects of the new technology diesel engines and concluded: “Overall, these results showed few biologic effects related to diesel exhaust exposure.”
- New research released April 23, 2012 from North Carolina State University - “Real-World Measurement and Evaluation of Heavy Duty Truck Duty Cycles, Fuels, and Emission Control Technologies” - shows that federal requirements governing diesel engines of new tractor trailer trucks have resulted in major cuts in emissions of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Trucks in compliance with newer standards showed a 98% decrease in NOx and 94% reduction in PM emissions.