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Transport emissions of greenhouse gases (TERM 002) - Assessment published Dec 2013

This content has been archived on 12 Dec 2014, reason: Other (New version data-and-maps/indicators/transport-emissions-of-greenhouse-gases/transport-emissions-of-greenhouse-gases-4 was published)

Generic metadata


Transport Transport (Primary topic)

Climate change Climate change

transport emissions | ghg emissions
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
Indicator codes
  • TERM 002
Temporal coverage:
Geographic coverage:
Austria Belgium Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czechia 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 United Kingdom

Key policy question: How did greenhouse gas emissions from transport evolve?

Key messages

The latest EEA preliminary estimations shows that transport emissions, including aviation, fell by 2.3 % in 2012, following the reduction trend seen from 2008. In 2011, transport (including shipping and aviation) contributed 25 % of the total of GHG emissions in the EU-28. Emissions in 2011 were 25 % above 1990 levels, despite a decline between 2008 and 2011. Emissions will, therefore, need to fall by 68 % by 2050 in order to meet the Transport White Paper target. International aviation experienced the largest percentage increase in GHG emissions from 1990 levels (+ 94 %), followed by international shipping (+ 48 %).

Emissions from international shipping declined between 2008 and 2010. However, GHG emissions from international aviation rose by almost 3 % in 2011, breaking the reduction trend seen since 2008.

Outside the EU-28, transport emissions in Turkey, excluding bunkers, have increased substantially by 82 % since 1990. In Switzerland, transport emissions (excluding shipping) have increased by 18 %, slightly below the EU-28 average, while in Norway and Iceland, emissions increased by 40 % and 53 % respectively, which are well above the EU-28 average.

Transport emissions of GHGs

Data sources: Explore chart interactively
Data sources: Explore chart interactively

Change in total GHG emissions from transport

Data sources: Explore chart interactively
Data sources: Explore chart interactively

Key assessment

In 2011, EU-28 transport GHG emissions were 25 % above 1990 levels. According to the Transport White Paper target, it means that transport emissions will need to fall by 68 % to meet the 2050 target.

Latest data show that road transport remains the main source of GHG emissions from transport in 2011, with a share of 94 % of all transport emissions in the EU-28 Member States. Overall GHG transport emissions, including aviation but excluding maritime shipping have reduced only slightly by 0.6 % in 2011. The reduction has been limited partly because international aviation emissions rose by 2.6 %.

Air transport is the fastest growing contributors to transport GHG emissions between 1990 and 2011: the GHG emissions of this sector doubled in the last 20 years. Between 2007 and 2011, emissions from this sector decreased by 4.5 % but are expected to grow, along with demand, in the coming years.

Between 2007 and 2009, emissions from International maritime transport decreased by  9 %. Nevertheless, international maritime increased by  48 % in the period from 1990 to 2011.

In the EU-15 member countries emissions of GHGs from transport have increased by 14 % between 1990 and 2011, contributing to a fifth (22 %) of the total GHG emissions in 2011 in the EU-15. Road transport is the largest contributor to these EU-15 emissions (94 % in 2011).

In the EU-13 Member States transport GHG emissions increased by 60 % in between 1990 and 2011, as a consequence of increased road transport demand (+ 70%). However, in the last 3 years, CO2 emissions in EU-13 has stabilized.

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Cinzia Pastorello


EEA Management Plan

2013 2.9.2 (note: EEA internal system)


Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled once per year in October-December (Q4)


European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100