Emissions report pushes for Euro VI standards

Top international experts also note gap between limits and performance

Emissions report pushes for Euro VI standards
Commercial vehicle emissions are in the spotlight


With the impact of diesel emission scandals still reverberating, a major international study from northern hemisphere experts has highlighted the gap between mandated limits and outcomes and what can be done to reduce health impacts of emissions.

High-level US and European researchers have just published in the journal Nature its their report, Impacts and mitigation of excess diesel-related NOx emissions in 11 major vehicle markets, which measures the amount of excess emissions from heavy-duty and light-duty commercial vehicles (HDVs and LDVs) and plots the reductions if more stringent standards are applied.

The report does not focus on Australia in particular but the country is noted in passing.

"HDVs are the dominant contributor to excess NOx health impacts in all regions except the EU-28," it states.

It also projects the decline of NOx emissions to the year 2040 with the implementation of trougher standards.

"Implementing Euro 6/VI standards where they are not yet adopted (Australia, Brazil, China, Mexico and Russia; the Euro 6/VI scenario) would reduce HDV NOx emissions by 80%-90% compared to the 2040 baseline and avert substantial increases in LDV NOx emissions," the report says.

The study authors note that "across 11 markets, representing approximately 80 per cent of global diesel vehicle sales, nearly one-third of on-road heavy-duty diesel vehicle emissions and over half of on-road light-duty diesel vehicle emissions are in excess of certification limits.

"These excess emissions (totalling 4.6 million tons) are associated with about 38,000 [particulate matter (PM)] and ozone-related premature deaths globally in 2015, including about 10 per cent of all ozone-related premature deaths in the 28 European Union member states.

"Heavy-duty vehicles are the dominant contributor to excess diesel NOx emissions and associated health impacts in almost all regions.

"Adopting and enforcing next-generation standards (more stringent than Euro 6/VI) could nearly eliminate real-world diesel-related NOx emissions in these markets, avoiding approximately 174,000 global PM and ozone-related premature deaths in 2040.

"Most of these benefits can be achieved by implementing Euro VI standards where they have not yet been adopted for heavy-duty vehicles."

The federal government is examining the implementation of Euro 6 amongst other emissions issues, including testing, through the Ministerial Forum on Vehicle Emissions (MFVE)

A working group consultation was conducted in the months to March 10 and a draft implementation plan for new measures was to be with ministers on March 31, including options for managing fuel quality standards, options for new measurement reporting standards for air pollutants under the National Clean Air Agreement and other initiatives.

The NOx report, which can be found here, follows one for motorists by the Australian Automobile Association that showed cars emittions 25 per cent above government expectations.

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