Brazil accounts for 3.5 percent of all early deaths worldwide from exposure to urban vehicle particle emissions and approximately 31 percent of early deaths in Latin America. The country has moved quickly to control vehicle emissions, with the result that early deaths from exposure to vehicle emissions are projected to decline by 50 percent in 2030, relative to current levels. If Brazil were to go one step further and adopt the best available controls on vehicles and fuels, it could cut health impacts by an additional two-thirds, avoiding 2,400 early deaths in 2030 alone and adding 260,000 years of life cumulatively through 2030.
A forthcoming ICCT report, The Impact of Stringent Fuel and Vehicle Standards on Premature Mortality and Emissions (scheduled for release in November 2013) describes urban particle emissions and health impacts in the transportation sector through the year 2030. The study finds that on a global scale, the health impacts from exposure to urban vehicle particle emissions will increase 150 percent by 2030 unless new policies are adopted. The report presents a global policy roadmap for cleaner vehicles and fuels and finds that aggressive actions to limit vehicle emissions throughout the world could reduce health impacts to two-thirds below current levels, adding 25 million years of life cumulatively.
Brazil implemented Proconve’s P-7 standards for heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) in 2012 and is in the process of implementing l-6 standards for light-duty vehicles (LDVs) between 2013 and 2015. in parallel with these new vehicle emission regulations, Brazil has adopted a timeline for lower sulfur fuels. Major metropolitan areas and select stations nationwide will receive 10 ppm diesel starting in 2013 to supply new P-7 trucks and buses. All other regions will reduce diesel fuel sulfur levels from 1,800 ppm to 500 ppm by 2014. Gasoline fuel sulfur levels will decline as well, from 1,000 ppm to 50 ppm in 2014 when l-6 standards come into force.
Brazil is a leader among Latin American countries and among emerging economies in adopting limits on vehicle emissions. Despite its efforts thus far, however, Brazil still suffers serious health impacts from vehicle emissions. A move toward the best available vehicle emission and fuel quality standards would produce dramatic additional benefits for air quality and human health. Based on these findings, Brazil needs to immediately advance to the next set of standards for commercial diesel vehicles. Proconve’s P-8 standards, which are equivalent to Euro VI standards adopted in Europe, should require the latest emission control technologies for particulate matter and nitrogen oxides. Moving toward Euro 6-equivalent standards for LDVs and replacing 500 ppm with 10 ppm diesel nationwide would ensure additional health benefits.