Countries explore how to tackle air pollution and GHG emissions from heavy-duty vehicles in Buenos Aires

21 Dec 2017

Countries worldwide face the challenges of urban air pollution and growing energy consumption by heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs). Many large cities suffer from the externalities of fuel combustion - including emissions of GHG, toxic gas and particulate matters - that cause chronic diseases and premature deaths. In order to tackle these issues, governments can rely on various policy instruments such as fiscal measures, fuel quality and fuel efficiency standards, and market-based approaches.

On 29 November to 1 December 2017, over 200 representatives from governments, the automobile industry, freight companies and software developing companies gathered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to discuss policy options at a three-day workshop on “HDV pollutant emissions and energy efficiency”. The event - organised by Argentina’s Ministry of Energy and Mines in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and with the support of FADEAAC (the Argentinian Federation of Cargo Trucking Companies) – was an opportunity for stakeholders to share experiences on how to address fuel consumption by HDVs.

Over the three days, participants heard about and discussed a number of policy-related issues, including: vehicle fuel consumption measures being developed in Argentina; VECTO and GEM simulation programmes as tools for informing the development of HDV labeling and minimum efficiency standards; and the impact on pollutant and CO2 emissions of low carbon policies, such as the European Commission’s EURO emissions standards for vehicles. The workshop concluded with a site visit of FADEEAC’s facilities in Escobar, north of Buenos Aires.

The event was a valuable occasion for countries to deepen collaboration and increase their understanding of the challenges, opportunities and solutions available to tackle the HDV sector’s growing emissions and energy consumption. Given the success of the workshop, Argentina is currently considering the possibility of hosting another similar meeting next year to continue the dialogue. In this context, Argentina’s G20 Presidency in 2018 provides an opportunity for interested participants to convene once again to collectively discuss, decide and secure political support for policies that will help achieve fair and sustainable economic and social development for all.