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UNEP high-level African petroleum ministers meeting on cleaner fuels

Hosted by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Netherlands government, this meeting was aimed at finding ways to support Africa to adopt low sulphur fuels, in line with the UNEP hosted Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV) focus to reduce sulphur in petrol and diesel fuel to 50 parts per million (ppm) and below in the Global South.

With an increasing vehicle population to meet rising mobility needs in the continent, many African cities are recording poor air quality. Cleaner fuels and cleaner conventional engine vehicle standards are viewed as an important intermediary solution to low-carbon mobility in Africa.

The meeting made bold recommendations to shift the continent to low sulphur fuels by 1 July 2023 for fuel imports into the continent, with refineries expected to upgrade within regionally agreed timelines to produce low sulphur fuels. The adoption and enforcement of Euro 4 vehicle emission standards for both new and used vehicles as the next step was also recommended.

Ipieca participation

Ipieca was represented at the meeting by Climate Director Ewan McKenzie and Climate Change Coordinator Darryl Martin.

Ewan provided a keynote speech which reflected on the PCFV’s successful campaign to eliminate the global use of leaded petrol, and how lessons learnt from this campaign can support the roll out of Euro 4 vehicle emission standards.

Ipieca also hosted a side event to explore how collaboration can support the aims of the PCFV’s Euro 4 campaign. Anibor Kragha, from Ipieca Association Member African Refiners & Distributors Association gave a keynote speech, and a panel moderated by Ewan shared perspectives on how collaboration can unlock even further progress across the African continent:

  • Jane Akumu, UN Environment Programme
  • Olivier Berthaud, TotalEnergies
  • Anibor Kragha, African Refiners & Distributors Association
  • Fani Tshifularo, South African Petroleum Industry Association

About the PCFV

Ipieca is a founding member of the UNEP hosted PCFV, a global public-private initiative promoting cleaner fuels and vehicles in developing countries and countries in transition.

For more on Ipieca's work on fuels and products, please click here.  

UNEP article on the meeting.


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