Ministers attending the Sixteenth Meeting of the Forum of Ministers of the Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in the Dominican Republic agreed 'to promote the reduction of sulphur content in fuels, targeting a goal of 50 parts per million of sulphur with an emphasis on countries with air quality problems in their metropolitan areas.
Decision 8 of the Forum on Better Fuels for Better Air Quality acknowledges the work of the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV) in the region to date, advocates improving fuel quality in LAC in line with the global goals of the PCFV, recognizes ongoing efforts by countries to improve fuel quality, and requests technical, financial and capacity support, especially at the country level.
The PCFV sponsored the South America Sulphur in Vehicle Fuels Conference 13-14 February 2007 in Quito, where participants from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Suriname agreed that a subregional target of 50 parts per million sulphur diesel is attainable by all countries within the next few years, and recommended bringing cleaner fuels and vehicles, including the issue of a regional approach to low-sulphur fuels, to the region's Sixteenth Meeting of the Forum of Ministers of Environment. Similar PCFV meetings in Central America have yielded recommendations for a regional endorsement of low-sulphur fuels and complementary vehicle standards and technology.
Together with PCFV partners in the region (including the Centro Mario Molina Chile, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, CORPAIRE, and the Kukulkan Foundation) and the UNEP Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, the PCFV Clearing-House has worked to promote the outcomes of the Quito conference, including the low sulphur target, to the regional ministerial level in order to strengthen the call for action at the national and local levels for cleaner fuels and vehicles to improve air quality.
Based on the current state of technology, policy, and plans to improve fuel quality and vehicle standards in South America (many countries are already moving on the issue), the PCFV and its UNEP-based Clearing-House recommend the adoption of a 2010 - 2012 timeline for lowering of sulphur in fuels to 50 ppm in the subregion, and encourage LAC as a whole to consider adoption of this target and timeline. According to ARPEL, the investment required in the region to meet growth in demand for 2015 is US $28 billion, whereas investments in the environmental performance of fuels for 2015 is US $6 billion; going to 50 ppm would add an additional US $9.61 million for the region. With the exception of some countries (Venezuela, Brazil and Colombia) 'low sulphur' fuel means 50 ppm.
The Sixteenth Meeting of the Forum of Ministers of Latin America and the Caribbean (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Sunday 27th January to Friday 1st February 2008) was organized by the Government of the Dominican Republic through the State Secretariat for the Environment and Natural Resources and the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP/ROLAC), in its capacity of Secretariat of the Forum.
Download the full decision text in English and Spanish from http://www.pnuma.org/forumofministers/16-dominicanrep/.