Clean air

Clean air

The world's transportation fleet—passenger cars and light trucks, heavy trucks and buses, motorcycles and scooters and three-wheelers, farm tractors and construction equipment, ships and planes—is a massive source of outdoor air pollution, especially in urban areas. The effects of long-term exposure to fine particulates, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, air toxics and other pollutants contained in vehicle exhaust include lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, asthma, stunted lung growth in children, and other harmful outcomes. And in some cases, as with the black carbon that is a component of particulate emissions, these pollutants also contribute to short-term climate warming.

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About the program

The world's transportation fleet—passenger cars and light trucks, heavy trucks and buses, motorcycles and scooters and three-wheelers, farm tractors and construction equipment, ships and planes—is a massive source of outdoor air pollution, especially in urban areas. The effects of long-term exposure to fine particulates, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, air toxics and other pollutants contained in vehicle exhaust include lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, asthma, stunted lung growth in children, and other harmful outcomes. And in some cases, as with the black carbon that is a component of particulate emissions, these pollutants also contribute to short-term climate warming.

The Clean Air Program advises governments and civil society organizations on strategies to address the public health and near-term climate impacts of outdoor air pollution from motorized transportation. We develop technical underpinnings for the design and implementation of emission control policies to mitigate those impacts at the international, national, and city scales. These policies can include national vehicle emission standards, fuel-quality standards to limit the sulfur content of diesel and petrol, compliance and enforcement programs to ensure that standards are met in practice, vehicle scrappage and retrofit programs, and other actions like establishment of low-emission zones. And we undertake monitoring and assessment of real-world emissions, air quality, and public health impacts to evaluate progress and guide actions where they are needed most.

State of global air quality: Regional insights from Brazil, China, India, and Mexico

The state of global air quality: Regional insights from Brazil, China, India, and Mexico.

Recent publications

Climate and air pollutant emissions benefits of bus technology options in São Paulo

Analysis considers bus engine technologies and alternative fuels that can contribute to achieving the 10-year and 20-year targets for fleetwide reductions in tailpipe emissions

2019.02.01 | White paper
Benefícios de tecnologias de ônibus em termos de emissões de poluentes do ar e do clima em São Paulo

A análise considera tecnologias para motores e combustíveis alternativos para ônibus que contribuem para o cumprimento dos alvos de 10 e 20 anos para redução de emissões de escapamento da frota

2019.02.01 | White paper
Avaliação internacional de políticas públicas para eletromobilidade em frotas urbanas

Em uma colaboração entre a Deutsche Gesellschaft für International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) e o ICCT, esse estudo contextualiza as experiências internacionais em políticas públicas para eletromobilidade em frotas urbanas para o Brasil.

2019.01.03 | Consulting report
See all publications

Staff blog

Put soot-free transport in your NDC

Soot-free transport will deliver black carbon reductions, which can help achieve the near-term cooling needed to meet a 1.5˚ C target. Climate negotiators in Poland this week ought to bring it into their climate action strategies.

Staff