Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung approved a new motor vehicle emission standard in an effort to mitigate air pollution caused by motor vehicle emissions last 1 September 2011.
Under the roadmap, automobiles will be required to comply with Euro 4 emission standards by January 1, 2017 with further tightening to Euro 5 emission standards starting January 1, 2022.
Motorcycles manufactured, assembled or newly imported will be required to comply with Euro 3 emission standards beginning January 1, 2017.
Parallel to these efforts, the Government is also set to improve fuel quality standards by leapfrogging to Euro 4 beginning 1 January 2016 and eventually moving up to Euro 5 by 1 January 2021.
Estimates indicate that there are currently about 1.2 to 1.3 million automobiles and 33 million motorbikes in Vietnam. With Vietnam’s rapid urbanization and sustained high economic growth, these vehicles are expected to increase substantially in the near future. The vehicle emissions and fuel quality roadmap can greatly ensure that future automobiles and motorcycles will be cleaner.
The Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia) Center, a non-government organization promoting air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions reduction, has been working with the Vietnam government to come up with a roadmap on cleaner fuels and vehicles, together with United Nations Environment Programme’s Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles.
Sophie Punte, CAI-Asia Executive Director, states “one of the greater impacts of Vietnam’s new vehicle emission and fuel quality standards is the significant reduction of pollutants including black carbon which benefits both air pollution reduction and climate change mitigation efforts. This move is a laudable effort and one which should serve as inspiration for other Asian countries that have not yet developed their own vehicle emissions and fuel quality roadmaps.”
Phan Quynh Nhu, Secretary-General of the Vietnam Clean Air Partnership (VCAP), says that the leading cause of air pollution in Vietnam is from transport, particularly engine-run vehicles, which led to the need for strict limits on emissions.
All these initiatives are part of a five-year plan for greening Vietnam’s transport sector. In the plan, Vietnam targets to develop an environmentally friendly transport system by 2030 and to properly control elements causing pollution in all sectors: road, railway, inland waterways, sea and air. Priority projects costing about VND700 billion (US$34 million) are given allocation from the State budget.
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