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UNEP’s Clean Fuels Partnership Leads to Low-Sulphur Transition in Kenya

18 February 2011: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced that as a result of the work of the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV), the Government of Kenya has launched a transition to low-sulphur diesel. 

Low-sulphur fuels reduce the levels of air pollutants emitted by vehicles, including sulphur oxides, soot and smoke particles, which can trigger respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and increase the risk of lung cancer. Kenya's new standard of 500ppm is the lowest in East Africa and has been followed by Tanzania. Kenya is a diesel exporter, and the standard will also impact fuels in importing countries, including Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

According to UNEP's Executive Director Achim Steiner, “reducing the sulphur content of transportation fuels in Sub Saharan Africa alone with the current fleet of vehicles could save up to nearly US$1 billion a year in health and related costs.”

The PCFV is global initiative coordinated by UNEP, to promote cleaner and more efficient fuels and vehicles in developing countries. The Partnership focuses on: reducing sulphur in vehicle fuels; eliminating leaded gasoline; and adopting cleaner vehicle standards and technologies. [UNEP Press Release] [PCFV Website]