Greenhouse gas emissions from transport

Indicator Assessment
Prod-ID: IND-111-en
Also known as: TERM 002
expired Created 11 Nov 2008 Published 21 Apr 2009 Last modified 11 Sep 2015, 12:53 PM
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In the EEA member countries, emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from transport (excluding international air and maritime transport) increased by 27 % between 1990 and 2005. The 15 old EU Member States make up 83 % of the total EEA area transport emissions and they increased by 26 % in the period of 1990-2005. In the 4 EFTA countries the emissions increased by 17 % while in the 12 new EU Member States the increase was 30 %. In the Candidate Countries (CC-1) the emissions increased by 55 %. For several of the 15 old EU Member States and EFTA countries, rapidly rising GHG emissions from transport are a serious concern for meeting the Kyoto target. In the 15 old EU Member States, domestic aviation was the fastest growing transport mode, while rail transport was the fastest decreasing one. Also GHG emissions from international aviation and navigation are increasing rapidly, but these emissions are, in accordance with UNFCCC guidelines, not included in the GHG emission totals relevant for the Kyoto targets. In the 15 old EU Member States, the transport sector was responsible for 21 % of the total GHG emissions in 2005, while in the 12 new EU Member States the transport sector contributed only by 11 % to the total GHG emissions.

Key messages

  • In the EEA member countries, emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from transport (excluding international air and maritime transport) increased by 27 % between 1990 and 2005. The 15 old EU Member States make up 83 % of the total EEA area transport emissions and they increased by 26 % in the period of 1990-2005. In the 4 EFTA countries the emissions increased by 17 % while in the 12 new EU Member States the increase was 30 %. In the Candidate Countries (CC-1) the emissions increased by 55 %.
  • For several of the 15 old EU Member States and EFTA countries, rapidly rising GHG emissions from transport are a serious concern for meeting the Kyoto target.
  • In the 15 old EU Member States, domestic aviation was the fastest growing transport mode, while rail transport was the fastest decreasing one. Also GHG emissions from international aviation and navigation are increasing rapidly, but these emissions are, in accordance with UNFCCC guidelines, not included in the GHG emission totals relevant for the Kyoto targets.
  • In the 15 old EU Member States, the transport sector was responsible for 21 % of the total GHG emissions in 2005, while in the 12 new EU Member States the transport sector contributed only by 11 % to the total GHG emissions.

How have greenhouse gas emissions from transport evolved?

TERM02 Total GHG emissions from transport

Note: EU-15 refers to 15 old EU Member States prior to May 2004 (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom), EFTA-4 to the four EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), EU-12 to 12 new EU Member States as of January 2007 (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia) and CC-1 to the candidate country Turkey.

Data source:

Annual European Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-2005 and Inventory Report 2007, Submission to the UNFCCC Secretariat, EEA Technical Report No 7/2007, European Environment Agency.

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TERM02 Change in total GHG emissions from transport

Note: EU-15 refers to 15 old EU Member States prior to May 2004 (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom), EFTA-4 to the four EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), EU-12 to 12 new EU Member States as of January 2007 (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia) and CC-1 to the candidate country Turkey.

Data source:

Annual European Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-2005 and Inventory Report 2007, Submission to the UNFCCC Secretariat, EEA Technical Report No 7/2007, European Environment Agency.

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  • In the 15 old EU member countries emissions of GHGs from transport have increased by 26 % between 1990 and 2005, contributing to a fifth (21 %) of the total GHG emissions in 2005 in the EU15. CO2 is the main contributor to transport GHG emissions (97 %) and road transport is, in turn, the largest contributor to these emissions (93 % in 2005). Road transport and air transport are the fastest growing contributors to transport GHG emissions between 1990 and 2005. Transport is also a small, but rapidly growing source of N2O emissions (+186 % between 1990 and 2005), though as it is not a large source of N2O, it does not have a major impact on the overall trend of total EU-15 GHG emissions.
  • The 4 EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) together account for 3 % of the total GHG emissions from transport in the EEA-32 area. The GHG emissions from transport in these three countries were 17 % above the 1990 levels in 2005.
  • In the 12 new EU member countries transport GHG emissions increased by 30 % in between 1990 and 2005, as a consequence of increased road transport demand. CO2 is the most important GHG, with 97 % share on total GHG emissions from the transport sector. These CO2 emissions increased by 29 % between 1990 and 2005. Road transport is a small, but rapidly growing source of N2O emissions (+101 % between 1990 and 2005), due to the penetration of three-way catalysts.
  • GHG emissions from transport in the candidate country Turkey increased by 55 % between 1990 and 2005. The increase is due to road transportation and domestic aviation. Turkey accounts together for 4 % of the GHG emissions from transport in the EEA area.

Indicator specification and metadata

Indicator definition

Total greenhouse gas emissions from transport, including CO2, CH4 and N2O, are analysed in this indicator. Emissions are split into road transport, railways, domestic navigation, domestic aviation, international aviation and maritime transport.

Units

In accordance with United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) rules, the global warming potential values used in this indicator are those taken from IPCC AR2 for the pre-2015 period, and those taken from IPCC AR4, for the post-2015 period. The data have been weighted according to the following global warming potentials for each greenhouse gas to give total emissions in million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (MtCO2e): 

  • Pre-2015: CO2 = 1, CH= 21, N2O = 310;
  • Post-2015: CO2 = 1, CH4 = 25, N2O = 298.

Policy context and targets

Context description

There are no specific greenhouse gas emission reduction targets foreseen for the transport sector under the Kyoto Protocol. However, there are several European policies and strategies (see below) that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport. From 1 January 2012, air transport has been included in the EU Emissions Trading System. However, in order to allow time for negotiations on a global, market-based measure that can be applied to aviation emissions, only emissions from flights within the European Economic Area currently fall under the EU system.

Targets

The EU's overall goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport (including international aviation but not maritime bunkers) by 2050 to a level that is 60 % below that of 1990. This includes the intermediate goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 20 %, compared with 2008 levels, by 2030 (+8 % compared with 1990 levels). Similarly, shipping emissions (international maritime bunkers) are to be reduced by 40 % from 2005 levels by 2050. These overall transport targets are monitored annually and are in line with the target for the overall economy of a 20 % reduction in total greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 from 1990 levels. Other transport policies that support the achievement of these targets, such as the various regulations that set CO2 emission targets for new passenger cars and vans, are also monitored in the Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism (TERM).

As the transport sector is not included in the Emissions Trading Scheme (non-ETS sector), it is the responsibility of Member States to reduce transport emissions through national policies (for all non-ETS sectors, a 10 % reduction against 2005 levels by 2020 is foreseen), as opposed to sectors covered by the ETS (e.g. energy industries and industrial installations), where the emissions reduction objective is to be achieved through an EU-wide trading scheme.

Related policy documents

  • COM(2011) 144 Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system
    PREPARING THE EUROPEAN TRANSPORT AREA FOR THE FUTURE
  • COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 166/2005
    COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 166/2005 of 31 January 2005 fixing the rates of the refunds applicable to certain cereal and rice products exported in the form of goods not covered by Annex I to the Treaty
  • DIRECTIVE 1999/62/EC
    DIRECTIVE 1999/62/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 17 June 1999 on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures
  • Directive 2003/30/EC, use of biofuels and renewable fuels
    Promotion of the use of biofuels and other renewable fuels for transport. Directive 2003/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 May 2003 on the promotion of the use of biofuels and other renewable fuels for transport.
  • DIRECTIVE 2004/49/EC
    DIRECTIVE 2004/49/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 29 April 2004 on safety on the Community’s railways and amending Council Directive 95/18/EC on the licensing of railway undertakings and Directive 2001/14/EC on the allocation of railway infrastructure capacity and the levying of charges for the use of railway infrastructure and safety certification
  • DIRECTIVE 2004/50/EC
    DIRECTIVE 2004/50/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 29 April 2004 amending Council Directive 96/48/EC on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system and Directive 2001/16/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system
  • DIRECTIVE 2006/40/EC
    DIRECTIVE 2006/40/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 17 May 2006 relating to emissions from air-conditioning systems in motor vehicles and amending Council Directive 70/156/EEC
  • DIRECTIVE 2007/58/EC
    DIRECTIVE 2007/58/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 23 October 2007 amending Council Directive 91/440/EEC on the development of the Community’s railways and Directive 2001/14/EC on the allocation of railway infrastructure capacity and the levying of charges for the use of railway infrastructure
  • DIRECTIVE 2008/101/EC
    DIRECTIVE 2008/101/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 19 November 2008 amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to include aviation activities in the scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community
  • Greenhouse gas monitoring mechanism Decision
    Decision No 280/2004/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 concerning a mechanism for monitoring Community greenhouse gas emissions and for implementing the Kyoto Protocol
  • Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
    Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; adopted at COP3 in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997
  • Transport White paper 2011
    Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area - Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system

Methodology

Methodology for indicator calculation

The annual official data submission is made by the EU Member States to the UNFCCC and the EU Monitoring Mechanism Regulation (MMR). The compilation of emission estimates by Member States is based on a combination of sectoral activity data, calorific values and carbon emission factors. Recommended methodologies for the estimation of emission data are compiled in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, supplemented by the ‘Good Practice Guidance and Uncertainty Management in National Greenhouse gas Inventories’ and UNFCCC Guidelines.

Methodology for gap filling

This indicator is based on information reported by Member States under the Monitoring Mechanism Regulation (MMR). However, should a Member State not submit the data required to compile the EU inventory, the European Commission shall prepare estimates to complete the Member States' greenhouse gas inventories in consultation and in close cooperation with the Member States in question. In this case, the Member State shall use the gap-filled inventory in its official submission to the UNFCCC. The basis of this gap-filling process is described in the Commission Delegated Regulation of 12.03.2014 (http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/g-gas/monitoring/docs/c_2014_1539_en.pdf )

Methodology references

  • IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories The IPCC Guidelines were first accepted in 1994 and published in 1995. The third UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP3), held in 1997 in Kyoto, reaffirmed that the Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories should be used as "methodologies for estimating anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases" in the calculation of legally-binding targets during the first commitment period of Kyoto Protocol.
  • Good Practice Guidance and Uncertainty Management in National Greenhouse Gas Inventories This report on Good Practice Guidance and Uncertainty Management in National Greenhouse Gas Inventories is the response to the request from the UNFCCC for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to complete its work on uncertainty and prepare a report on good practice in inventory management.
  • UNFCCC guidelines United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change guidelines

Uncertainties

Methodology uncertainty

Please refer to the methodology uncertainty of the greenhouse gas indicator "Total greenhouse gas emissions trends and projections" (CSI 010/CLIM 050).

Data sets uncertainty

Please refer to the methodology uncertainty of the greenhouse gas indicator "Total greenhouse gas emissions trends and projections" (CSI 010/CLIM 050).

Rationale uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified.

Data sources

Generic metadata

Topics:

Transport Transport (Primary topic)

Climate change Climate change

Tags:
transport
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
Indicator codes
  • TERM 002
Geographic coverage:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Diana Vedlugaite

EEA Management Plan

2010 2.9.2 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled once per year
Filed under:
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100