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File Expert interview: transport and environment
Peder Jensen, EEA transport and the environment expert. Transport is harmful to the environment in many different ways. The most visible effect of transport is some of the emissions that we see: we can see the exhaust gas coming out of a car and at certain times it's very dirty and very dark. It's a very visible way where it's harming the environment, harming the air that we are all breathing. But there are also effects that are not quite so visible - when we are burning fuel in our engines we are emitting a lot of different gases and some of them are invisible greenhouse gases that help trap the heat in the atmosphere to get the earth to go warmer. One of the other important effects of transport is the noise impact. Noise means that people have a hard time sleeping, that they therefore don't get the rest that they need. It also affects the animals, disturbs their life, if roads or railroads run through nature areas it therefore means a reduced quality of life for both animals and people. Finally, transport infrastructure has a tendency to fragment natural habitats for animals. Lots of animals are disturbed by roads, they cannot cross the road, they are either scared off by the noise or they can't find ways to cross these different infrastructures and this means that the habitats they are living in don't work so well for their reproduction.
Located in Environmental topics Transport Multimedia
File Troff document Curbing CO2 emissions from road transport
Road transport generates about one fifth of the EU's CO2 emissions, with passenger cars responsible for around 12%. This makes it the second most important source of greenhouse gases. Although there have been significant improvements over recent years in vehicle technology, these have not been enough to neutralise the effect of increases in traffic and car size.
Located in Environmental topics Transport Multimedia
File Better and cleaner urban transport for Europe
Urban traffic is responsible for 40% of CO2 road transport emissions. In Europe, 9 citizens out of 10 are exposed to harmful particle emissions that are higher than the tolerated norm. Time wasted in traffic jams will soon cost 1% of the European Union’s GDP. In terms of urban transport, the European Union contributes to financing infrastructures and equipment, but also supports projects aiming at replacing petrol by alternative and clean fuels. Most cities in the EU are putting in place a mix of advanced technologies and transport policy measures, such as alternative traffic management systems to combine mobility and quality of life. The EU cooperates with cities, notably through the CIVITAS network, to favour the exchange of know-how and best practices at European level.
Located in Environmental topics Transport Multimedia
File Clean air for Europe
Air pollution is a growing concern in the area of public health. Scientific research shows that air pollutants are behind a higher number of diseases such as respiratory allergies, asthma and inflammatory conditions. It is the most vulnerable segments of populations, the elderly and children, who are the first to be affected by this phenomenon. In May 2001, the European Commission launched its " Clean Air for Europe " (CAFE) programme. This is a three-year programme intended to investigate all sources of air pollution and provide solutions to reduce them.
Located in Environmental topics Air pollution Multimedia
File Air Pollution: harmful particles
The European Commission wants to further reduce air pollution in Europe. Although the situation has improved substantially over the last few decades, there are still significant areas of concern with regard to certain pollutants that are particularly harmful to human health (respiratory diseases) and damaging to the environment (acidification, eutrophication, etc.). The anti-pollution programme that the Commission has launched to that effect is called the “Clean Air for Europe” or CAFE programme.
Located in Environmental topics Air pollution Multimedia
File Giving Europe more breathing space
Air pollution has been one of Europe’s main concerns since the late 1970s. Over the last few decades, the rapid growth in industry and increased reliance on cars and public transport has contributed to a rapid decline in air quality, from smog and acid rain to asthma and other respiratory diseases.
Located in Environmental topics Air pollution Multimedia
Daviz Visualization Concentration status for the hourly limit values of SO2 for health protection, 2011
Distribution of stations by thresholds of 99.73 percentile of the hourly SO2 concentrations for the year 2011. The chart is based on the 99.73 percentile of the SO2 hourly concentrations, corresponding to the 25th highest SO2 concentration when data availability is 100% over the year.
Located in Data and maps Data visualisations
Figure Troff document Sulphur dioxide 2010 - Annual limit value for the protection of ecosystems
In the air quality directive (2008/EC/50), the EU has set two limit values for sulphur dioxide (SO2) for the protection of vegetation within the zones designated by member states: the SO2 annual mean value may not exceed 20 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) and the SO2 mean value for the winter period (1 October to 31 March) may not exceed 20 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3).
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Carbon monoxide 2010 - 8 hour mean limit value for the protection of human health
In the air quality directive (2008/EC/50), the EU has set a limit value for carbon monoxide (CO) for the protection of human health: the CO maximum daily 8-hour mean values may not exceed 10 milligrams per cubic metre (mg/m3).
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Troff document Sulphur dioxide 2010 - Daily limit value for the protection of human health
In the air quality directive (2008/EC/50) the EU has set two limit values for sulphur dioxide (SO2) for the protection of human health: the SO2 hourly mean value may not exceed 350 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) more than 24 times in a year and the SO2 daily mean value may not exceed 125 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) more than 3 times in a year.
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
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