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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Energy efficiency and specific CO2 emissions / Energy efficiency and specific CO2 emissions (TERM 027) - Assessment published Jan 2013

Energy efficiency and specific CO2 emissions (TERM 027) - Assessment published Jan 2013

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Generic metadata

Topics:

Transport Transport (Primary topic)

Tags:
co2 | greenhouse gas emissions | cars | transport indicators | co2 emissions | transport
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
Indicator codes
  • TERM 027
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1995-2020
Geographic coverage:
Austria Belgium Bulgaria Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Europe Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Ireland Italy Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey United Kingdom
 
Contents
 

Key policy question: Are the various passenger and freight transport modes becoming more energy efficient?

Key messages

  • Specific CO2 emissions of road transport have decreased since 1995, mainly due to an improvement in the fuel efficiency of passenger car transport. Recent EU Regulation setting emission performance standards for new passenger cars is expected to further reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles in view of the 130 g/km and 95 g/km emission targets set for 2015 and 2020 respectively.
  • Specific CO2 emissions of air transport, although decreasing, are of the same order of magnitude as for road, while rail and maritime shipping remain the most energy efficient modes of passenger transport.
  • Specific energy efficiency of light and heavy duty trucks has improved, but road transport still consumes significantly more energy per t-km than rail or ship freight transport. CO2 emissions from light commercial vehicles are also expected to decrease in view of the 175 g/km and 147 g/km emission targets set for 2017 and 2020 respectively.

Specific CO2 emissions per passenger-km and per mode of transport in Europe, 1995-2011

Note: The graph shows development of specific CO2 emissions, defined as emissions of CO2 per transport unit (passenger-km), by passenger transport mode (road, rail, maritime, air) over the period 1995 to 2011. Data coverage: EEA-32 excluding Iceland and Liechtenstein

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Specific CO2 emissions per tonne-km and per mode of transport in Europe, 1995-2011

Note: The graph shows development of specific CO2 emissions, defined as emissions of CO2 per transport unit (tonne-km), by freight transport mode (road, rail, maritime, inland shipping) over the period 1995 to 2011. Data coverage: EEA-32 excluding Iceland and Liechtenstein

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Specific CO2 emissions from road passenger and freight transport in Europe, 1995, 2005 and 2011

Note: The graph shows development of specific CO2 emissions for the road transport mode, by category (passenger cars, vans, two wheelers, buses & coaches, light-duty vehicles, heavy-duty vehicles) in 1995, 2005 and 2011. Data coverage: EEA-32 excluding Iceland and Liechtenstein

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Key assessment

The specific CO2 emissions of the road sector were reduced between 1995 and 2011 by 7 % for passenger transport and 19 % for freight transport. The energy efficiency and CO2 per passenger-kilometre of passenger car transport has improved by almost 8 % over the same period and this improvement results partly from the voluntary agreement of the automotive manufacturing industries. The reductions in road freight transport are due to both technical improvements of the light and heavy-duty trucks (mainly in the engine efficiency) and increased activity of the heavy-duty trucks, i.e. higher load factors.

The combined effect of improvements in aircraft technology and increased load factors has resulted in a decrease in specific CO2 emissions of air passenger transport by 33 % between 1995 and 2011. However, the total emissions are still growing as a result of transport volumes growing faster than efficiency improvements.

Rail is the most energy efficient mode of passenger transport and the second most energy efficient mode of freight transport (after maritime). Specific CO2 emissions of rail transport have decreased by about 24 % from 1995 to 2011 for passenger transport, mainly due to shifting from diesel to electric trains. Passenger-kilometres of electric trains have increased by 16 %, whereas for diesel trains they decreased by 10 % over the same period. For freight transport the decrease over the same period was 40 % as a result of both technological improvements and increased load factors. The CO2 emission factors for electricity production represent the emissions incurred during the whole production and supply process from fuel extraction to electricity transport to the sub-stations feeding the railway network.

The energy efficiency of maritime shipping has only recorded slight changes of the order of 2 % in the time period considered.

Specific policy question: Are the new passenger cars becoming more energy efficient?

Average emissions for new cars (gCO2/km) (EU-27)

Note: Graph showing progression of average emissions for new cars versus 2015 and 2020 targets

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Specific assessment

CO2 emissions from the new passenger car fleet in the EU 27 decreased from 140.2 g CO2/km in 2010 to 135.7 g CO2/km in 2011. The overall trend is one where average emissions of CO2 have decreased steadily since 2000. If similar progress is made each year, then the 2020 target for passenger cars for achieving a fleet average of 95 g CO2/km will also be achieved. However, there is also discussion regarding the real fuel consumption of vehicles, and therefore CO2 emissions. Data to monitor the average emissions of CO2 for the new van fleet are not yet available. Member States will be required to monitor and deliver this data from 2012. However, it has been estimated that average CO2 emissions for the new van fleet decreased from 203 g CO2/km in 2007 to 181 g CO2/km in 2010 (TNO et al., 2012).

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Cinzia Pastorello

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2012 2.9.2 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled once per year in October-December (Q4)
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100