In November 2021, the Climate and Clean Air programme CALAC+ implemented by Swisscontact developed the second conference. The objective of the event was to expose the technological advances in vehicle emissions at a global level and to share the experiences undertaken at a local level, since the entry of vehicles with new technologies generates new challenges in the journey towards healthy cities.
The first module 'Vehicle emissions of particulate matter and their impact on health' presented the advances and global decisions on ultrafine particulate matter; Juan Castillo from the World Health Organization (WHO) introduced the new global guidelines on air quality and recommendations on ultrafine particulate. Then, the experts Andreas Mayer and David Kittelson presented scientific information, generating an interesting debate highlighting the importance of both size and composition of ultrafine particles.
Alberto Ayala, Exectutive Director and Air Pollution Control Officer Sacramento Metro AQMD, explained the relationship of ultrafine particles and air quality policies in the Unites Staes.
Also, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia and the Secretariat of Environment of Mexico City presented proposals and advances to fight pollution and how to face the entry of new technology, which leaves the measurement of opacity "in the air".
Unlike other pollutants such as CO2, CO, NO2 or O3, whose molecules are the same everywhere in the world and for which there are precise sampling and measurement methods, making it possible to establish clear emission limits, particulate matter is very complex and there is still no clear definition. This explains the lack of consensus in different parts of the world. Therefore, the sampling procedure is a determining factor for assessing impacts on health and the environment to support public policies.
– Moderator John Ramiro Agudelo's thoughts on the module
On the second day of the conference, experiences in the measurement of particle number in Europe were presented, focusing on measurement practices. In addition, three cities participating in the CALAC+ programme shared their insights on measurements: Mexico City with regard to heavy vehicles, Chile for light and heavy vehicles, and Colombia on particle number measurement in the TransMilenio bus fleet.
The closing of the event included a technological workshop with 5 manufacturers of measurement equipment with samples and technology virtual presentations.
In the last two years, there have been major advances in the region relateted to policies on the control and monitoring of ultrafine particulate from motor vehicles. Latin America contributed scientific knowledge and proposals to global agreements. The challenges are greater: having reliable and comparable information to search suitable technology are the key that will allow the adoption of public policies which prioritise health and environment.