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The impact of stringent fuel and vehicle standards on premature mortality and emissions (2013)

Without new actions to limit vehicle emissions, the health impacts from road transportation will increase significantly from present-day levels in many countries around the world. However, stringent limits on vehicle emissions can force the introduction of technologies that will cut emissions of local air pollutants by more than 99 percent over uncontrolled vehicles. This temporarily decouples conventional pollutant emissions from growing vehicle activity and dramatically reduces emissions that contribute to serious health problems. This report provides an ambitious but pragmatic policy roadmap for tightening standards for trucks and buses, passenger vehicles, and fuels, enabling regions without a clear timeline for advanced standards to replicate the success of early policy adopters in improving air quality and public health. The tools and analyses used in this study provide an integrated framework for rapid policy assessment that can be especially useful in developing regions where technical capacity and data are limited and where action is most urgently needed.

This report, from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), outlines a policy roadmap for cleaner vehicles, including next-generation standards in countries that have already adopted advanced controls. These policy timelines take into account the technical and administrative considerations of regulatory development. They present an ambitious but feasible goal for advancing toward clean transportation worldwide. The implementation of these policies will yield major reductions in fine particulate emissions and associated premature deaths, as well as significant reductions in other pollutants, namely, precursors to ozone and secondary particulates. In addition, these policies have climate benefits since they reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon. This report is only able to capture a portion of the health impacts expected through cleaner fuel and vehicle standards. The full measure of benefits from these policies—including reduced risk of nonfatal diseases associated with air pollution, improved health in rural areas, and reductions in ozone and secondary particulates—creates an even stronger imperative for swift and universal regulatory action.

Access the report here: The impact of stringent fuel and vehicle standards on premature mortality and emissions (2013)