Transport emissions of greenhouse gases (TERM 002) - Assessment published Sep 2010
Transport (Primary topic)
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
- TERM 002
Key policy question: How did greenhouse gas emissions from transport evolve?
In the EEA member countries, emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from transport (excluding international air and maritime transport) increased by 28 % between 1990 and 2007. The 15 old EU Member States make up 81 % of the total EEA area transport emissions and they increased by 26 % in the same period. In the 4 EFTA countries the emissions increased by 25 % while in the 12 new EU Member States the increase was 46 %. In the Candidate Countries (CC-1) the emissions increased by 97 %.
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 2007, while in the 12 new EU Member States the transport sector contributed only by 12 % to the total GHG emissions.
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.
Annual European Community greenhouse gas inventory 1990-2007 and inventory report 2009, Submission to the UNFCCC Secretariat, EEA Technical Report No 4/2009, European Environment Agency.
Change in total GHG emissions from transport
Note: Trends in transport greenhouse gas emissions by country 1990–2007
EEA, 2009. Data compiled by European Topic Centre for Air and Climate Change.
In the 15 old EU member countries emissions of GHGs from transport have increased by 24 % between 1990 and 2007, contributing to a fifth (21 %) of the total GHG emissions in 2007 in the EU-15. CO2 is the main contributor to transport GHG emissions (98 %) and road transport is, in turn, the largest contributor to these emissions (93 % in 2007). Road transport and air transport are the fastest growing contributors to transport GHG emissions between 1990 and 2007. Transport is also a rapidly growing source of N2O emissions (89 % between 1990 and 2007). As it is not a large source of N2O (share in total GHG emissions 0.3 %), it does not have a major impact on the overall trend of total EU-15 GHG emissions.
The EFTA-4 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 countries were 25 % above the 1990 levels in 2007.
In the 12 new EU Member States transport GHG emissions increased by 46 % between 1990 and 2007, 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 45 % between 1990 and 2007. Road transport is a small, but rapidly growing source of N2O emissions (+137 % of total transport emissions between 1990 and 2007), due to the penetration of three-way catalysts.
GHG emissions from transport in the EU-15 show a different trend than in the EU-12, where emissions increased strongly in the last years. Within the EU-15 emissions started to stabilise in the last years. For the EU-27, this results in an overall increase between 1990 und 2007 of 27 %.
GHG emissions from transport in the candidate country Turkey increased by 97 % between 1990 and 2007. The increase is due to road transportation and domestic aviation. Turkey accounts for 5 % of the GHG emissions from transport in the EEA area.
National emissions reported to the UNFCCC and to the EU Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Mechanism
provided by Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV) , United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
More information about this indicator
See this indicator specification for more details.
Contacts and ownership
EEA Contact InfoCinzia Pastorello
EEA Management Plan2009 2.10.2 (note: EEA internal system)
Frequency of updates
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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