Developing a Roadmap for Harmonization of Vehicle Emissions Standards in East Africa

vehicle emission standards

The transport sector remains the main source of urban air pollution in many developing and transitional countries, contributing to as much as 80% of urban air pollution in some cities. The key pollutant is small particulate matter (PM) causing an estimated 3.2 million premature deaths annually, with the majority coming from transport emissions. The smaller part of PM, black carbon, is an important climate pollutant. PM contributes to increased respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia as well as chronic lung and heart disease, premature deaths etc. Diesel PM is especially toxic, and is now classified as carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization.

The Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV) has been supporting developing and transitional countries to implement clean fuels and vehicles policies to reduce vehicle emissions. To assist countries to develop and implement longer term vehicle emission strategies that look at fuels and vehicles as a system, the PCFV developed a Regulatory Toolkit that provides a menu of options for countries to match cleaner fuels to vehicle improvements.

The East Africa sub-region adopted harmonized low sulphur fuels in January 2015. At the same time, the PCFV Regulatory Toolkit was piloted within the sub-region before completion in 2014/15. Following this support, Rwanda adopted mandatory vehicle emission testing from January 2015. Kenya and Uganda are also following suit with their respective plans at advanced stages for implementation in 2017. However there has been no discussion on harmonization of vehicle emission standards in the sub-region.

With support from the PCFV and UN Environment (DTIE/Transport Unit), this project supported the East African countries to develop a roadmap for harmonization of sub-regional vehicle emission standards. In addition, the project is supporting Kenya to develop a vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance program (I/M). It contributes to UN Environment’s Climate Change Sub-programme 2016-2017, particularly to the objective of strengthening the ability of countries to move towards climate-resilient and low emission pathways for sustainable development and human well-being.

The Roadmap can be found here.