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Black Carbon Diesel Initiative in the Russian Arctic

Russian Language Content

For Russian language information on black carbon, please see our partner site hosted by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Russia. Exit EPA disclaimer

Black carbon, also known as "soot," results from the incomplete combustion of organic matter such as fossil fuels and biomass. Black carbon causes significant environmental harm and impacts human health in the Arctic. When deposited on snow or ice, it reduces the reflection of sunlight, causing further warming and increasing the rate of melting.

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The project will report results to both:

Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle), the Nordic Environmental Finance Corporation (NEFCO), Murmansk State Technical University, and WWF Russia have partnered with EPA to implement the project in the Russian Arctic.

EPA and its partners have also formed a Technical Steering Group of Russian, international, and U.S. experts to guide the project and to serve as an advisory body on inventories, pilot project design and related issues.

Mobile and stationary diesel engines are among the largest sources of black carbon emissions in the Arctic. Across the diesel sector, substantial black carbon reductions are possible. To address this challenge, EPA is leading the Black Carbon Diesel Initiative under the Arctic Black Carbon Initiative (ABCI). The ABCI also includes initiatives led by the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with support from the U.S. Department of State.

  • New! Presentations available from Transport and Clean Air, a December 2013 Circumpolar Workshop. This seminar allowed leading experts to share best practices on reducing emissions of particulates and black carbon from diesel sources in the Arctic.

EPA is engaging with partners from government agencies, U.S. Arctic and Russian universities and non-governmental organizations, Russian and Arctic stakeholders, and indigenous communities on a four-step project to reduce diesel black carbon emissions in the Russian Arctic through 2015. Specifically, EPA and its partners will:

  1. Conduct initial scoping and assessment of primary sources of black carbon in the Russian Arctic,
  2. Develop a baseline emission inventory for black carbon from diesel sources,
  3. Implement targeted, on-the-ground demonstration projects for reducing black carbon from diesel, and
  4. Establish policy recommendations and financing options for reducing black carbon from diesel sources.

EPA's work in the ABCI focuses in the Russian Arctic, but the project includes broader collaboration to reduce diesel black carbon emissions across the Arctic.

Project Phase 2: Emissions Inventory

EPA and its partners have undertaken an initial assessment of black carbon emissions in the Russian Arctic, and are focused on developing a baseline emissions inventory for diesel engines, including on-road, off-road, and stationary sources. EPA and its partners have assesed quality of existing data, developed a detailed methodology, and conducted a workshop on best practices (see below). The Technical Steering Group and stakeholders reviewed drafts of the emissions inventory methodology. They will also review drafts of the emissions inventory, which is under development.

Based on preliminary data, the team identified the Murmansk Region, which produces approximately 80 percent of the diesel-related BC emissions in the Russian Arctic, as the best location for emissions inventory efforts. This region has strong local government support, experienced local partners, and relatively high quality regional statistics and data.

Workshop: Emissions Inventory Best Practices

From April 15-19, 2013, EPA's partners hosted the Best Practices Training on Arctic Black Carbon: Reduction of Black Carbon from Diesel Sources in Murmansk, Russia. Over the course of this event, participants:

  • Shared information about and discussed emissions inventory best practices around the world;
  • Exchanged information about inventories in Russia;
  • Shared information and discussed BC and PM measurement;
  • Discussed the proposed emissions inventory methodology and potential pilot projects; and
  • Demonstrated emissions measurement techniques.

The workshop contributed to the finalization of the emissions inventory methodology.

Learn more about the workshop:

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EPA's work on the ABCI:

Teresa Kuklinski
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of International and Tribal Affairs (2670R)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460
E-mail: kuklinski.teresa@epa.gov
(202) 564-6600

EPA's work with the Arctic Council:

Hodayah Finman
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of International and Tribal Affairs (2670R)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460
E-mail: finman.hodayah@epa.gov
(202) 564-6600

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