The following is an Earth Day statement from Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum, a Washington-based nonprofit association.


This year, people in more than 190 countries will commemorate Earth Day and the world’s environmental accomplishments and agenda for the future.


In looking back at significant accomplishments in the past few decades, it’s important to recognize one of the major environmental achievements that has contributed to a cleaner environment while powering the global economy—clean diesel technology.


The transformation to near-zero clean diesel technology is a result of our commitment to protect and enhance our environment, conserve our resources and improve our quality of life. Today, this is a daily reality for the leaders in clean diesel technology—the companies that provide the world with the most advanced and powerful engines, equipment, machines, vehicles and fuels. Clean diesel technology has significantly reduced emissions, increased efficiency and improved the everyday lives of people throughout the world.


From tending farms that help feed the world, building roads and clean water infrastructure that connect communities, powering a commercial truck for taking goods to market or moving a fuel efficient personal car, diesel technology is enabling progress and prosperity in the cleanest possible manner.


Diesel’s Near-Zero Emissions Levels Help Achieve Sustainability

Thanks to the innovation and billions of dollars of research and development, engine, vehicle and equipment manufacturers today produce new diesel engines and equipment to meet all the needs of tomorrow’s sustainable world. This includes a wide range of engine sizes with emissions at near-zero levels, improved fuel efficiency and a capability to utilize a wide range of renewable biodiesel fuels from an array of feed stocks.


Here are the results of this successful effort:

    • A 98% reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions from new commercial diesel trucks and buses.
    • A 97% reduction in sulfur in new diesel fuel.
    • A 90% reduction in PM and 50% cut in NOx emissions from new farm and construction equipment.
    • A 30% higher fuel efficiency than gasoline cars and pickups.


So, why is this important? Diesel is the predominant power source in key sectors of the global economy, including the technology of choice for over 90% of all global trade—for road building, industrial development farming, moving goods to market and providing essential public services. Today’s diesel technology does more with less, more work with fewer emissions, using less fuel. 


Additionally, most diesel engines today can run on high-quality blends of biodiesel with little modification as well as next-generation, drop-in renewable diesel fuels, which offer even more benefits. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), biodiesel is classified as an “advanced biofuel” capable of reducing greenhouse gas emission by at least 50%. Renewable diesel fuel is derived from the same feedstocks as biodiesel.


The world’s economy depends on diesel power today, and diesel engines have transformed to meet the needs of the global economy, environment and climate for a sustainable future for all tomorrow.