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November 30, 2018   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

UNFCC COP24: Three Ways the New Generation of Diesel Power Helps Meet the Global Climate Challenge

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By its very nature, the magnitude and diversity of the climate challenge suggests there is not a “one-size-fits all” solution but instead one that will require many near term and long term strategies that are proven and available.


Thanks to decades of innovation and continual refinement, the new generation of diesel technology has evolved to be one of the technologies that is a near term and ready solution to the climate change challenge.



Leaders from around the world convening in Katowice, Poland at COP24 this week will be addressing a wide range of issues seeking diverse solutions and cooperative implementation to address climate change. 

By its very nature, the magnitude and diversity of the climate challenge suggests there is not a “one-size-fits all” solution but instead one that will require many near term and long term strategies that are proven and available.

Here are three ways that diesel power is contributing toward mitigating climate change today and how it is further evolving for tomorrow.

1. Facilitating adaptation and resilience requires heavy equipment

Changes in building, development, infrastructure and land configuration practices to moderate potential damages from climate change will require the use of qualified heavy machinery. Virtually all heavy construction equipment is powered by diesel technology. The newest generation of this equipment is near zero emissions and is more powerful and fuel efficient compared to previous generations.

2. As a climate technology to help reduce GHG emissions

According to COP24 these include renewable energies and soft technologies such as energy efficient practices. A diesel engine emits 20 to 30 percent less CO2 emissions to do the same amount of work as a gasoline engine, valuing its efficiency as a technology choice. And, diesel engines can run on a diverse range of 100 percent renewable biofuels, including those processed from various waste streams and engineered hydrocarbon-like molecules from algae, thereby reducing fossil fuel use.

3. Elimination of black carbon

Cutting Short Lived Climate Pollutants has been a key policy objective to slow climate change and allow for CO2 reducing strategies to become more widespread and effective. The newest generation of diesel power combines the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel with advanced particulate trap technology to virtually eliminate black carbon or “soot” emissions from new engines and equipment. Any part of the world that has access to cleaner diesel fuel can benefit from the application of particulate traps on many types of existing equipment or enables the purchase of the newest generation.

Diesel engines have always been the workhorse of the global economy moving the overwhelming majority of people and goods around the world, powering the agricultural and mining sectors making progress possible around the globe.

Can we expect the entire world to get rid of their cars or electrify all vehicles soon and move away from fossil fuels? No, of course not, and it’s not clear that is the only or best solution for everyone. Should we ask developing countries to forego economic growth and opportunity and await the “perfect” zero emissions climate solutions?  Probably not. 

Thanks to decades of innovation and continual refinement, the new generation of diesel technology has evolved to be one of the technologies that is a near term and ready solution to the climate change challenge.



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Key Contact

Ezra Finkin
Director, Policy
efinkin@dieselforum.org
301-668-7230

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