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International Cooperation

Promoting Cleaner Fuels and Vehicles Worldwide

The Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV) is a global public-private partnership working with developing and transitional countries to reduce air pollution from vehicles through the promotion of cleaner fuels and vehicles.  

EPA was a charter member of the Partnership, which began its work in 2002 and now includes 73 partners. The partnership kicked off its international cooperation with a focus on the promotion of unleaded fuelsExit The PCFV helped achieve great success with the use of leaded gasoline being virtually eliminated, with only two countries still using any leaded gasoline as of 2019. Exit

The phaseout of lead from gasoline globally has resulted in economic benefits from the prevention of lead exposure in children everywhere. [Reference:  Peter L. Tsai and Thomas H. Hatfield. “Global Benefits From the Phaseout of Leaded Fuel.” Journal of Environmental Health. 74: 8-14. 2011.]  

Beginning in 2008, the PCFV’s second focus area has been to reduce sulfur in fuels.  At that time, few developing countries had low sulfur fuel policies.  Since 2009, the PCFV has helped more than 20 countries – whose populations total over 1.7 billion – implement low sulfur diesel fuel standards (50 ppm or below).  This effort has significantly reduced sulfur dioxides and particulate matter, both of which have significant impacts on human health.

Most recently, the PCFV has launched a third campaign – the vehicles campaign – recognizing that governments that have been successful in securing cleaner fuels will achieve greater environmental and health impacts by combining cleaner fuels with cleaner vehicles that take advantage of innovative emission control technologies. 

The PCFV engages governments and stakeholders in developing countries:

Evaluations, Tools and Outcomes from PCFV’s Work

Report on Addressing the Used Vehicles Market

The PCFV released a report in February, 2019 titled “Addressing the Used Vehicles Market: Potential Strategies for Importing and Exporting Countries to Improve Safety, Fuel Economy and Emissions Impacts.”

A large percentage of vehicle fleets in developing and transition countries are imported used or second-hand vehicles, and demand for vehicles in these countries has grown significantly. Imported vehicles can be much cleaner and efficient. The report outlines potential strategies to improve used vehicle fleets, which can have a wide range of benefits including reducing pollution.

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PCFV Regulatory Toolkit

The Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV) has been working with developing and transitional countries to reduce vehicular air pollution through the promotion of cleaner fuels and vehicles. With support from EPA and Environment Canada, the PCFV created a regulatory toolkit to introduce the need for a systems approach to vehicle emission reduction. A systems approach matches fuels and vehicle improvements - to move towards tighter vehicle emissions regulations.

This toolkit supports developing and transitional countries to introduce requirements for 50 ppm and below sulfur fuels; produce or import lower emitting and more efficient vehicle technologies; establish vehicle emissions control roadmaps; and ultimately improve air quality and human health in these countries.

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Tools for Decision-Makers – Clean Fleet Management Toolkit

To promote low sulfur fuels and the introduction of cleaner vehicles, PCFV developed a Toolkit for Clean Fleet Strategy Development Exit to assist vehicle fleet managers to assess the air quality impact of their fleets. The PCFV also provides training on this toolkit and has delivered trainings in Asia Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Bus exhaust in China. Source: Southwest Research Institute
The training prepares public and private on-road vehicle fleet managers to: 
1. evaluate the impacts of their fleets on the environment and human health, and then 
2. develop a practical strategy for corrective and cost-effective action.

Promoting Cleaner Fuels in Indonesia

From 2010-2016, EPA worked with Indonesia to develop cost-benefit analyses to promote government fiscal policies, to create and foster dialogue amongst a cross-government and industry stakeholders group, and to engage the government-owned petroleum company Pertamina. As a result of this work, Indonesia plans to introduce low sulfur fuels that meet the PCFV target of 50 ppm.

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PCFV Evaluation by EPA (December 2011)

Since the launch of the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles Lead Campaign in 2002, nearly all of the 100-plus countries using leaded fuel at that time have eliminated lead from their fuel supplies. As a result, the Lead Campaign for the PCFV is considered to have been successfully completed. In follow up to this success, EPA sponsored a third party evaluation in 2011 to identify and examine lessons and design principles for successful partnership that may apply to other existing or future international partnerships.
logo of the partnership for clean fuels and vehicles


PCFV Lead Campaign Startup and Design  
The evaluators found four factors which supported a strong start and successful implementation of the Campaign: 
1. preceding developments, such as known public health impacts for lead and existing momentum for change; 
2. a timely opportunity with support from senior leaders; 
3. a clear, measurable, and ambitious-yet-achievable goal; and 
4. strong partnership design and design process that fosters ownership and trust. 
Lead Campaign Implementation
Implementation combined the following strong features: 
1. multi-level, multi-angle implementation strategy that covers key issues and engages key stakeholders; 
2. partners bring expertise and commitment through complementary roles; 
3. modest yet focused resource investments; and 
4. addressing challenges, adaptation, and learning from experience.

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PCFV Evaluation by UNEP (October 2010)

In 2010, UNEP’s Evaluation Office commissioned an independent evaluation of the contribution of the PCFV to the phase out of leaded gasoline in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA), some 48 countries.
The evaluation made the following findings:
  • Without the PCFV it would have taken at least 10 years rather than five to phase out lead in SSA (conservative estimate).
  • The PCFV therefore contributed to health benefits, which in turn promoted social and economic gains.
  • UNEP operated as a high level advocate to governments, as a channel to resources within the Partnership, and as a facilitator and supporter of activities at various levels.

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Links to Additional Information


For additional information on EPA's work with the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles, contact:
Angela Bandemehr
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of International and Tribal Affairs (2670R)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 564-1427