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Promoting Cleaner Fuels and Vehicles Worldwide

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Working with the PCFV, in June 2012 Mauritius became the first Sub-Saharan African country to introduce diesel fuel with 50 ppm sulfur. Learn more about the 50 ppm Diesel Launch in Mauritius. Exit EPA disclaimer



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Today, transportation demand is growing rapidly in developing countries. This, combined with rising personal vehicle ownership, is causing significant impacts on urban air quality and greenhouse gas emissions. For example, transport is potentially one of the biggest sources of CO2 and particulate matter pollution, especially in cities.

Chart shows that non-OECD countries will soon double and triple the total numbers of global vehicle use.

Projected Global Vehicle Growth (source: Mobility 2030: Meeting the Challenges to Sustainability, World Business Council on Sustainable Development, 2004) Exit EPA disclaimer

Globally, the International Energy Agency predicts that fossil fuels will remain the dominant source of energy to 2035 (reference: IEA World Energy Outlook 2011 (PDF) (10 pp, 796K) Exit EPA disclaimer. The number of vehicles is growing fast in developing countries (defined as countries that are not a part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD]) Exit EPA disclaimer, as the chart (right) displays. Vehicles on the road in non-OEDC countries will double and triple by 2050.

To address these issues, the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV) Exit EPA disclaimerpromotes cleaner fuels and vehicles in developing and transition countries. Specifically, PCFV works toward the global elimination of lead in gasoline and the phase down of sulfur in diesel fuel to 50 parts per million (ppm), and promotes the introduction of cleaner, more efficient vehicles.

EPA is a founding and supporting member of PCFV, a public-private global initiative originally founded at the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) Exit EPA disclaimerin 2003.

The PCFV engages governments and stakeholders in developing countries to accomplish the following:

  • To eliminate lead in gasoline globally. There are only a few countries left still using only leaded fuels, and several offering both leaded and unleaded fuels. View map displaying countries still using leaded fuels, [PDF, 1 p, 316kb] courtesy of PCFV.

  • For all countries to have access to fuel with 50 ppm sulfur. For comparison, the United States uses 15 ppm sulfur diesel fuel; most developing countries offer fuels that are much higher in sulfur content. View map displaying countries using sulfur in diesel, [PDF, 1 p, 3.83M] courtesy of PCFV.

  • To promote the introduction of cleaner, more efficient vehicles. Over 20 developing countries have currently committed to adoption of vehicle emission standards, as well as mandatory requirements for catalytic convertors and basic vehicle import standards, such as restrictions on the age of used vehicles.
Logo: Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles.

On this page are some evaluations, tools and outcomes from PCFV’s work. For additional information about PCFV programs, visit the PCFV website. Exit EPA disclaimer

PCFV Evaluation by EPA (December 2011)

Since the launch of the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles Lead Campaign in 2002, nearly all of the 100-plus countries using leaded fuel at that time have eliminated lead from their fuel supplies. The six countries that have yet to eliminate lead from fuel are expected to do so in the coming years. As a result, the Lead Campaign for the PCFV is considered to have been successfully completed. In follow up to this success, EPA sponsored a third party evaluation in 2011 to identify and examine lessons and design principles for successful partnership that may apply to other existing or future international partnerships.

This evaluation was conducted through the 2010 Program Evaluation Competition, sponsored annually by EPA. For more information please visit US EPA’s Evaluation Support Division.

The evaluation focused on the Lead Campaign’s startup and design, implementation, and insights that could inform other partnership efforts. This evaluation did not focus on the benefits of eliminating lead from fuel or the success of PCFV in the elimination of leaded fuel, topics which have been studied previously in evaluations and reports from other organizations ( including UNEP and the European Commission).


PCFV Lead Campaign Startup and Design

Man walking on polluted street in developing country.

Urban air pollution is a significant problem in the developing world. Source: PCFV

The evaluators found four factors which supported a strong start and successful implementation of the Campaign:

  1. preceding developments, such as known public health impacts for lead and existing momentum for change;
  2. a timely opportunity with support from senior leaders;
  3. a clear, measurable, and ambitious-yet-achievable goal; and
  4. strong partnership design and design process that fosters ownership and trust.

Lead Campaign Implementation

Implementation combined the following strong features:

  1. multi-level, multi-angle implementation strategy that covers key issues and engages key stakeholders;
  2. partners bring expertise and commitment through complementary roles;
  3. modest yet focused resource investments; and
  4. addressing challenges, adaptation, and learning from experience.

Relevance of Findings on Lead Campaign to Other Voluntary Partnerships

The evaluation found that core Lead Campaign strengths could also serve other partnerships, and that there is an emerging set of voluntary partnership design principles for successful partnerships that are consistent with PCFV. The evaluators identified a set of emerging voluntary partnership design principles that are consistent with the Lead Campaign and PCFV more broadly, including the need to develop clear goals, build a strong core membership and thoughtfully design the partnership and utilize this process to engender buy-in and trust.

Key Documents
Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles: Evaluation of the Design and Implementation of the Lead Campaign

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PCFV Evaluation by UNEP (October 2010)
Pollution and traffic in the developing world

Regional targets can help improve air quality in cities in Africa. Source: PCFV

In 2010, UNEP’s Evaluation Office commissioned an independent evaluation of the contribution of the PCFV to the phase out of leaded gasoline in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA), some 48 countries.

The evaluation made the following findings:

  • Without the PCFV it would have taken at least 10 years rather than five to phase out lead in SSA (conservative estimate).
  • The PCFV therefore contributed to health benefits, which in turn promoted social and economic gains.
  • UNEP operated as a high level advocate to governments, as a channel to resources within the Partnership, and as a facilitator and supporter of activities at various levels.


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Tools for Decision-Makers – Clean Fleet Management Toolkit

Bus with visible exhaust

Bus exhaust in China. Source: Southwest Research Institute

To promote low sulfur fuels and the introduction of cleaner vehicles, PCFV developed a Toolkit for Clean Fleet Strategy Development Exit EPA disclaimer to assist vehicle fleet managers to assess the air quality impact of their fleets. The training prepares public and private on-road vehicle fleet managers to:

  1. evaluate the impacts of their fleets on the environment and human health, and then
  2. develop a practical strategy for corrective and cost-effective action.

The PCFV also provides training on this toolkit. For example, PCFV has provided training:

  • In Asia (hosted in Bangkok), conducted by the Clean Air Initiative for Asia (Direct link to this training on PCFV website) Additional Asia trainings were held in Manila in February 2009 and March 2009, and in Jakarta in July 2009.
  • In the Central and Eastern European region, hosted by the Regional Environment Center (Direct link to this training on PCFV website)
  • An additional Central and Eastern European training was held in Poland in May 2009.
  • In September 2009, the PCFV is organizing the first Cleaner Vehicle Fleets Training for Latin America and the Caribbean, in Santiago, Chile, in cooperation with Centro Mario Molina, Chile. (Learn more: Latin America and the Caribbean regional activities on PCFV website.)

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Global Clean Fuels and Vehicles Database

Pollution and cars as people cross the street

Globally, cleaner vehicle fleets trainings are empowering fleet managers to save fuel and improve their local air. Source: PCFV

To support decision makers in clean fuels and vehicles, PCFV developed an online database of available data and information on global fuels and vehicles standards and other related parameters (such as planned refinery upgrades and vehicle import restrictions). This database provides searchable maps of the information, and allows the user to analyze the data and generate reports.

Enter the database Exit EPA disclaimer

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Links to Additional Information:

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Back to: International Priorities


For additional information on EPA's work with the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles, contact:

Angela Bandemehr
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of International and Tribal Affairs (2670R)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460
E-mail: bandemehr.angela@epa.gov
(202) 564-1427

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