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This content has been archived on 12 Dec 2014, reason: Other (New version data-and-maps/indicators/transport-emissions-of-greenhouse-gases/transport-emissions-of-greenhouse-gases-4 was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