As part of efforts to improve air quality, countries in the Latin America and Caribbean region are planning, or have already embarked on, improvements in fuel quality following the phaseout of leaded petrol in most countries in the 1990's (and more recently Venezuela in 2005). Many countries from Central to South America are either already marketing diesel fuel with sulphur levels at 500 ppm or below, or will transition to lower sulphur fuels in the next few years. For more information, see the PCFV LAC sulphur matrix. Vehicle emission standards are also being reviewed and tightened in countries like Peru, Argentina, Chile and Brazil where current standards are equivalent to Euro 2 and US Tier 1 standards for new light-duty gasoline and diesel vehicles. For more information on emissions standards in selected LAC countries, see the MECA World Regulatory Database.
This one-day workshop addressed the environmental and health impacts of fuels and vehicles, the policy and technology options available to reduce emissions, initiatives being undertaken in the region by governments and industry. Representatives from 14 national auto clubs discussed the greater role clubs can play in awareness raising and advocacy for improved fuel quality and vehicle technology for better urban air quality. Brazil's biofuels program and the successful introduction of flex-fuel vehicles were also highlighted.
Keynote presentations were made by Mr. Ivan Fonseca e Silva, President of the Automobile Association of Brazil and former President of Ford Brazil and Dr. Ozires Silva, who has in the past served as President of Petrobras, Minister of State for Infrastructure and President of the Varig Airlines. He now serves as special advisory on energy to the Brazilian Presidency. Expert presentations from the vehicle and fuel industries were made by Mr. Rogelio Golfarb, President of the Brazilian National Association of Automobile Manufacturers (Anfavea) and Mr. Frederico Kremer of Petrobras. Mr. Gianni Lopez, former Administrator of CONAMA Chile, presented on cleaner transport trends and programs in the region and the auto clubs of Peru and Spain shared their experiences with sustainable transport and environmental awareness campaigns. Rita Cuypers of the FIA Foundation presented the FIA Foundation's air quality and fuel efficiency activities (including the Eco Test rating of vehicles according to polluting emissions and CO2).
As independent and trusted consumer organizations the clubs can provide technical advice to their members and the motoring public at large about the transition from leaded to unleaded fuel and the implications of moving to lower sulphur fuel. They should also play an advocacy role in promoting the benefits of cleaner fuels and technologies to the public and government. There are also potential commercial opportunities for clubs in promoting better inspection and maintenance of vehicles to ensure that cars on the road are polluting as little as possible. Motoring organisations too have a responsibility to ensure that car use is as clean and sustainable as possible for future generations. FIA Foundation