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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Specific air pollutant emissions / Specific air pollutant emissions (TERM 028) - Assessment published Jan 2011

Specific air pollutant emissions (TERM 028) - Assessment published Jan 2011

Topics: ,

Generic metadata

Topics:

Transport Transport (Primary topic)

Tags:
co2 emissions | nox | emissions
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
Indicator codes
  • TERM 028
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1995, 2009
 
Contents
 

Key policy question: Is the reduction in specific emissions consistent with the stricter emission standards?

Key messages

  • The specific emissions of air pollutants from passenger and freight transport decreased during the time period 1995-2009 for the majority of transport modes and especially for passenger transport.
  • The highest reduction of specific emissions can be observed in the road sector, following the implementation of increasingly strict emission standards.
  • Railway and aviation have also recorded reductions, while maritime passenger and freight transport emissions remained approximately constant over the same time period.
  • Rail and water transport are still relatively clean forms of transport - compared to road and air transport - but without any regulations on their emissions, these modes might lose this leading position.

Specific emissions of VOC per passenger-km or tonne-km and per mode of transport, 1995-2009

Note: The graph shows development of specific VOC emissions, defined as emissions of VOC per transport unit (passenger-km or tonne-km), by transport mode (road, rail, maritime, inland shipping, air) in 1995 and 2009.

Data source:

Specific VOC emissions data for road, rail and inland shipping transport, 1995-2009 from TREMOVE v3.1 (http://www.tremove.org/model/index.htm).

Specific VOC emissions data for air and maritime transport, 1995-2009 from TRENDS (http://www.forum.europa.eu.int/Public/irc/dsis/pip/library?l=/environment_trends).

Downloads and more info

Specific emissions of NOx per passenger-km or tonne-km and per mode of transport, 1995-2009

Note: The graph shows development of specific NOx emissions, defined as emissions of NOx per transport unit (passenger-km or tonne-km), by transport mode (road, rail, maritime, inland shipping, air) in 1995 and 2009.

Data source:

Specific NOx emissions data for road, rail and inland shipping transport, 1995-2009 from TREMOVE v3.1 (http://www.tremove.org/model/index.htm).

Specific NOx emissions data for air and maritime transport, 1995-2009 from TRENDS (http://www.forum.europa.eu.int/Public/irc/dsis/pip/library?l=/environment_trends).

Downloads and more info

Specific emissions of PM per passenger-km or tonne-km and per mode of transport, 1995-2009

Note: The graph shows development of specific PM emissions, defined as emissions of PM per transport unit (passenger-km or tonne-km), by transport mode (road, rail, maritime, inland shipping, air) in 1995 and 2009.

Data source:

Specific PM emissions data for road, rail and inland shipping transport, 1995-2009 from TREMOVE v3.1 (http://www.tremove.org/model/index.htm).

Specific PM emissions data for air and maritime transport, 1995-2009 from TRENDS (http://www.forum.europa.eu.int/Public/irc/dsis/pip/library?l=/environment_trends).

Downloads and more info

Specific emissions of CO per passenger-km or tonne-km and per mode of transport, 1995-2009

Note: The graph shows development of specific CO emissions, defined as emissions of CO per transport unit (passenger-km or tonne-km), by transport mode (road, rail, maritime, inland shipping, air) in 1995 and 2009.

Data source:

Specific CO emissions data for road, rail and inland shipping transport, 1995-2009 from TREMOVE v3.1 (http://www.tremove.org/model/index.htm).

Specific CO emissions data for air and maritime transport, 1995-2009 from TRENDS (http://www.forum.europa.eu.int/Public/irc/dsis/pip/library?l=/environment_trends).

Downloads and more info

Key assessment

  • Road remains by far the most polluting passenger transport mode with respect to CO and VOC specific emissions, even though it recorded the highest decreases (about 85 % for both CO and VOC emissions) from 1995 to 2009 compared to the other modes. As regards NOx and PM specific emissions, road passenger transport specific emissions are comparable with those of air and rail transport. Road is also the most polluting freight transport mode for all pollutants (with the exception of PM), although the specific emissions decreased from 42 % (NOx) to 72 % (PM) over the 1995 to 2009 period.
  • Rail is generally the cleanest mode of transport for most pollutants. Specific NOx and PM emissions of rail transport have decreased considerably from 1995 to 2009, mainly due to the trend towards electric powered trains, especially for passenger traffic. Specific emissions from trains depend critically on the technical level and the method of energy production used. The emission factors for electricity production represent the airborne pollutants incurred during the whole production and supply process from fuel extraction to electricity transport to the sub-stations feeding the railway network. This indicates that the focus in the future should be in controlling emissions from power generation, along with implementing the engine economy and emission control technology, which has already advanced.
  • Maritime shipping is one of the cleanest mode of freight transport, except for PM and specific sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions, which are the highest for shipping (and aviation), mainly due to the high sulphur content of bunker fuels. However, maritime shipping remains by far the most polluting passenger transport mode with regard to the specific NOx and PM emissions. The emissions generated by the maritime fleet are largely dependent on the quantity of fuel consumed; however, there are several factors besides fuel consumption, which influence the emissions generated. These include the fuel quality and the engine type. In particular, SOx and PM emissions are influenced by the quantity of sulphur within the fuel. In the future, emission reductions are expected from waterborne transport, mainly as a result of improved fuel quality and engine technology. EU legislation (Directive 2005/33/EC) setting more stringent limits for sulphur content in fuel oils will greatly contribute to the expected emission reductions. In addition to this, Commission Recommendation 2006/339/EC aims at promoting of shore-side electricity for use by ships at berth in Community ports.
  • Specific emissions of CO and VOC from aviation are generally low, being comparable to those of maritime shipping. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has established aircraft engine emission standards for NOx, which resulted in 30 % reductions achieved from 1995 to 2009. Despite this reduction, NOx specific emissions are still 40 to 60 % higher compared to road and rail respectively.
  • It should be noted that the significant reductions in the emissions of all pollutants from road transport are mainly attributed to technological improvements and policy measures resulting from the strict emission standards imposed. On the other hand, the emissions from the other modes of transport are not subject to any emission control regulations, which would result in emission reductions similar to those from road transport.

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

2010 2.9.2 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled every 1 year in October-December (Q4)
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