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Six success stories on improving environmental performance of road transport in Europe

Europe's road transport has made a clear contribution to economic growth, but its environmental performance is still unacceptable. Traffic congestion, poorer air quality, noise and in particular greenhouse gas emissions are some of the key challenges effectively addressed by six initiatives identified by the European Environment Agency as success stories. Such measures should also be implemented elsewhere, but to reach intermediate and long-term climate change targets, transport demand has to be addressed as well.

By presenting such projects, other countries and cities might be encouraged to implement similar measures

Jan Karlsson, Project manager - Climate change and transport (European Environment Agency)

The report 'Success stories within the road transport sector on reducing greenhouse gas emission and producing ancillary benefits' released today by the EEA, explores six projects — implemented in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom — that have helped to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and therefore contribute to the EU's medium and long-term targets on climate change. These projects have also helped improve air quality and reduce noise. 

Measures include replacing business travel with teleconferencing, limiting speed and promoting behavioural change with 'eco-driving', introducing congestion charges, and improving energy efficiency by means of freight consolidation centres. 

The EEA study seeks to identify local and regional efforts to boost the transition towards low carbon transport in Europe, encouraging alternatives to existing options for both private passengers and freight operators. The report also discusses some factors that are essential for the projects to be successful such as cost effectiveness, the important role of local authorities, public relations and the media. 'By presenting such projects, other countries and cities might be encouraged to implement similar measures', says project manager Jan Karlsson from the European Environment Agency.

The local actions analysed in this new report have slightly contributed to lower greenhouse gas emissions from road transport. 'Similar measures should and could be implemented elsewhere. However, additional measures, including demand management, must be implemented to face the challenges of the medium and long-term climate change targets and develop an environmentally sustainable transport system', says Jan Karlsson.

The same message was also emphasised in the EEA's recently published TERM 2007 report 'Climate for a transport change', which provides a wide assessment of the environmental performance of the transport sector in Europe.

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