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Forum advocates for clean diesel technology to battle global climate change


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Clean diesel technology will be a primary component to helping the U.S. achieve its recent commitment during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) to reduce its greenhouse gas (CO2) emissions by 28% by 2025, according to Diesel Technology Forum executive director Allen Schaeffer.

“Leaders from around the world meeting at COP 21 this week are making commitments to reduce carbon emissions, which will require proven technologies – ones that can feed a growing population, enhance economic development and opportunity and improve personal mobility in all parts of the world,” said Schaeffer. “To achieve these objectives will require greater implementation of proven and available technology, like the newest generation of diesel engines.”

Schaeffer said there was no need to wait for new technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, because today’s equipment powered by diesel already deliver reduced emissions and air quality benefits.

“Diesel engines have emerged as the fuel-efficient technology of choice for many decades of doing the business of the global economy,” said Schaeffer, “with diesel engines and fuel moving the overwhelming majority of people and goods in every corner of the world.”

Schaeffer said reducing carbon emissions from passenger and commercial vehicles was second only to cuts from power plants when it came to U.S. efforts to lower emissions. He added that although there were some alternative fuels being used in ‘niche applications,’ diesel was expected to be the principal source for decades to come.

“In the U.S., since 2007 the introduction of 1.9 million of the newest generation of clean diesel commercial trucks has already resulted in savings of 9 million tonnes of CO2, 880 million gallons of diesel, 21 million barrels of crude oil, 1.45 million tonnes of NOx (mono-nitrogen oxides), and 39,500 tonnes of particulate matter,” Schaeffer claimed. “These results demonstrate why clean diesel will be a key player helping the U.S. and many other nations achieve their climate commitments.”

Schaeffer said diesel’s role in reducing emissions was not limited to the U.S., and that other nations that introduced new diesel engines and machines would need to operate using clean diesel fuel with near zero levels of sulfur to see benefits.

“Ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD) with a sulfur content of 15 parts per million or less has been the standard in the U.S. since 2006, with similar standards in a growing number of other nations,” said Schaeffer.

The Canadian standard for sulphur in diesel, according to canadianfuels.ca, is also 15 parts per million, as of June 2006.

Schaeffer said the next step in the clean diesel process, and the fight against greenhouse gas emissions, is the use of high quality renewable biofuels, which have grown in supply in the U.S. to over one billion gallons last year.

“Both biodiesel and renewable diesel fuel are considered advanced biofuels by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, capable of delivering at least a 50% reduction in carbon emissions,” said Schaeffer. “Cities like San Francisco and Oakland, California have converted their entire public fleets to run on renewable diesel fuel, reducing CO2 emissions by over 80% virtually overnight.”

The Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit organization that raises awareness about diesel engines, fuel and technology.