Poor air quality is a contributory factor in the deaths of at least 3.2 million people annually, according to WHO. Motorised traffic is a significant source of major pollutants, including carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and other particulate matter.
As a member of two UN-led coalitions, the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles and the Climate & Clean Air Coalition, the FIA Foundation is playing an important role in supporting efforts to reduce vehicle emissions and has been part of a global team that has succeeded in eliminating leaded fuel from most of the world.
Major urban centres across much of the developing world are now so badly polluted, with vehicle emissions a major contributory factor, that their populations face grave health risks. Pollutants from motor vehicles, such as carbon monoxide, ozone, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and other particulate matter, have serious health effects including respiratory tract infections and cardiovascular disease, and WHO has recently classified outdoor air pollution as carcinogenic to humans. Mortality in cities with high levels of air pollution exceeds that observed in relatively clean cities by 15-20%.
Since 2003 the FIA Foundation has been a member and donor to the UN Environment Programme’s Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV). Working alongside institutions, industry and governments, the Foundation has contributed to a successful and award winning global campaign to eliminate leaded fuel, with immense health and societal benefits. The PCFV is now leading a campaign to reduce the level of sulphur in motorised transport fuel to 50 parts per million or below, key to effective use of catalytic converters and other clean engine technologies.
The Foundation’s support for programmes promoting non-motorised transport (see our work on liveable cities) is designed to tackle car dependence, reduce demand for motorised vehicles, and encourage modal shift towards cleaner forms of mobility, as well as recognising that for hundreds of millions of poor people around the world, walking or cycling are the only available option now and in the future. As a member of the Climate & Clean Air Coalition and the Partnership for Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), the Foundation is working with diverse partners to develop new international initiatives for safe, clean, fair and green mobility.