Press release

Reducing Black Carbon Emissions from Diesel Vehicles

Impacts, Control Strategies, and Cost-Benefit Analysis

A new World Bank report, written by researchers from the ICCT, aims to inform efforts to control black carbon emissions from diesel-based transportation in developing countries.

Reducing BC emissions from diesel vehicles (cover)The report, “Reducing black carbon emissions from diesel vehicles: Impacts, control strategies, and cost-benefit analysis,” [.pdf] presents a summary of emissions control approaches from developed countries, which face a number of on-the-ground implementation challenges. It applies a new cost-benefit analysis methodology to four simulated diesel black carbon emissions control projects: diesel retrofit in Istanbul, green freight in Sao Paulo, fuel and vehicle standards in Jakarta, and compressed natural gas buses in Cebu. The cost-benefit framework factors in both climate and health benefits.

The transportation sector accounted for approximately one-fifth of global black carbon emissions in the year 2000. A 2013 assessment found that black carbon is second to carbon dioxide in terms of climate forcing effect. Black carbon increases global and regional temperatures when emitted into the atmosphere, where individual particles directly absorb energy from the sun and radiate it back as heat. It also reduces the strong cooling effect of large, highly reflective surfaces such as glaciers and Arctic ice.

Acute and chronic exposures to particulate matter are associated with a range of diseases, including chronic bronchitis and asthma, as well as premature deaths from cardiopulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute lower respiratory infections.

Download the report.