VECC Director, Tang Dagang, thanks Mrs. Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency for delivering the opening remarks
More than 100 cities in China were covered in smog and haze for the past week, according to China Daily and the Chinese National Meteorological Center.
With this backdrop, the China International Workshop on Fuel Desulfurization, held here this week, lent timely support to China's efforts to reduce air pollution in its cities through the further reduction of sulfur in gasoline and diesel. The goal: 10 parts per million (ppm) by the end of 2017, along with equivalent vehicle emission standards.
The workshop was organized by the Vehicle Emission Control Center of the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection (VECC/MEP), the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT) and Clean Air Asia and welcomed more than a hundred stakeholders from public and private sectors in China. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV) also helped sponsor the workshop.
The alarming levels of air pollution in several cities have already prompted the Chinese government to act. In September 2013 the government issued a comprehensive Air Pollution Prevention and Control Plan, which included desulfurization of fuels as one of its key measures. The Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection presented the Action Plan, which included specific PM10 and PM2.5 reduction targets at the national and regional levels. By 2017 nationwide, 10% reduction of PM10 and for PM2.5, specific targets for the Pearl River Delta by 15%, 20% for the Yangtze River Delta and 25% for Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region.
In the workshop, VECC highlighted the need for China to start developing China VI vehicle emission standards to maximize the benefits from the introduction of 10ppm sulfur in fuels. China VI standards require cars to have filters that capture particulate matter, as well as the short-lived climate pollutant black carbon, that contributes to heavy smog.
US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy participated in the meeting, highlighting the need to address air pollution from motor vehicles along with the commitment of the US, which has a long history of keeping air pollution levels in check in US cities.
A Handbook on Low-Sulfur Fuels in China was launched during the workshop to highlight the benefits of lower fuel sulfur content in vehicle emissions and to assess the implications for tighter new vehicle standards in China.