Air quality and health benefits of improved fuel and vehicle emissions standards in Mexico
Mexico heavy-duty vehicle emission standards
The Mexican government published final emissions standards for engines used in heavy-duty trucks and buses and complete heavy-duty vehicles, NOM-044-SEMARNAT-2017 on February 19, 2018. Starting January 1, 2021, all new heavy-duty vehicles sold in Mexico will be required to meet the best-in-class, filter-based standards, equivalent to those currently in place in the rest of North America and the European Union. The Euro VI and US 2010 options are introduced in 2019, along with much weaker Euro V and US 2007 options, which are allowed over a two-year transition period. The soot-free standards become the only regulatory option on January 1, 2021.
This regulation is an important step forward for Mexico in meeting the country’s nationally determined contribution (NDC) to the Paris Accord of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Mexico is the only country that committed to black carbon reductions as part of its NDC and is pledging to reduce black carbon emissions by 51% by 2030. The adoption of NOM-044-SEMARNAT-2017 is the single-most critical policy needed to achieve this ambitious climate goal.
Enacting this policy will also reduce air pollution, improve health, and save lives within Mexico. The regulatory impact assessment accompanying the proposal was based on ICCT analysis, which found that implementation would eliminate 6,800 premature deaths per year once the standard has affected most of the in-use vehicles (the year 2037 in this analysis), with single-year benefits assessed at 123 billion U.S. dollars.
These are the first soot-free standards adopted in Latin America that are mandatory at a national level. Implementation of mandatory soot-free standards in 2021 will be a little behind, but on a similar timeframe to India (April 2020) and the proposed standards for China (January 2020).