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Emissions per passenger-km and per tonne-km

Indicator Fact Sheet (Deprecated)
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Assessment made on  01 Jan 2002

Generic metadata


Transport Transport (Primary theme)

DPSIR: Driving force


Indicator codes
  • TERM 028
Geographic coverage:

Policy issue:  Reduce emissions per passenger-km and per tonne-km.

Key messages

  • Technological improvements and cleaner fuels have made vehicles less polluting per transport unit in the EU

  • No data are available for ACs on specific emissions of vehicles


Key assessment

Stricter emission standards (e.g. the introduction of catalysts) and improvements in fuel quality have resulted in marked decreases in specific emissions of NOx (and other pollutants) by cars and trucks. The environmental gains have, however, been partly offset by traffic growth. The reductions in specific emissions projected up to 2010 assume a certain level of maintenance of the vehicle fleet.

Data for some countries show that specific emissions from other transport modes have also fallen markedly during the past two decades. One exception is the specific NOx emissions from aircraft, which increased by about 12 % between 1977 and 1988. Shipping is the least polluting mode for freight transport. Aviation and road transport are the most polluting modes.

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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1050 Copenhagen K
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