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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.

Project Partners Exit EPA disclaimer

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 1: Initial scoping and assessment

In order to address emissions of black carbon from diesel, EPA and its partners first undertook scoping and assessment of emissions sources, critical infrastructure, key stakeholders, and existing data. This initial step included kick-off workshops on diesel black carbon in the Russian Arctic, creating the Technical Steering Group to provide targeted advice and input on the project, a scoping trip with stakeholder outreach, and ultimately a plan for undertaking emissions reductions work. Highlights of this phase are described below.

Kick-Off Workshops

On October 6-7, 2011, EPA engaged in two days of initial workshops in Moscow, Russia on Diesel Emissions, Pollution Mitigation, and Clean and Alternative Technologies in the Arctic. These workshops gathered a broad range of governmental, NGO, and academic participants and experts. The workshops produced meaningful information exchange on:

  • Black carbon assessments in the Arctic;
  • The link between diesel emissions and black carbon;
  • Technologies to reduce diesel emissions of black carbon; and
  • Improving the efficiency of energy systems in remote areas of the Arctic.

The workshops also provided EPA and its partners with expert input on potential demonstration projects in the region, enhancing decision-making capacity for the initiative. Immediately following the Moscow workshop, EPA and some of its partners visited the Arctic cities of Salekhard and Murmansk, from October 9-12, 2011, to engage with local officials and experts on these issues and to learn more about their concerns and ideas for addressing black carbon in the regions.

Stakeholder Meetings

From January 28-February 1, 2013, EPA and its partners held meetings in Murmansk and Moscow with key Russian stakeholders to gather input into the project’s emissions inventory methodologies and potential pilot project ideas. EPA's partners for this effort included Battelle, Murmansk State Technical University, and WWF-Russia.

These meetings were also an opportunity to obtain feedback on the project’s workplan. After the meetings, the workplan was updated and finalized based on the input received.

Learn more about these meetings, our partners, and moving forward with key stakeholders:

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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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