Personal tools

Notifications
Get notifications on new reports and products. Frequency: 3-4 emails / month.
Subscriptions
Sign up to receive our reports (print and/or electronic) and quarterly e-newsletter.
Follow us
Twitter icon Twitter
Facebook icon Facebook
YouTube icon YouTube channel
RSS logo RSS Feeds
More

Write to us Write to us

For the public:


For media and journalists:

Contact EEA staff
Contact the web team
FAQ

Call us Call us

Reception:

Phone: (+45) 33 36 71 00
Fax: (+45) 33 36 71 99


next
previous
items

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Sound and independent information
on the environment

21. Transport

Chapter 21: Transport — Introduction

 

An efficient transport system is a crucial precondition for economic development and an asset in international competition. Personal mobility for work, study and leisure purposes is considered a key ingredient of modern life. With the integration of markets in Europe, economic growth and higher levels of income, transport is also a major growth sector. In the EU, the transport service industry accounts for about 7 to 8 per cent of GDP including 'own account' (transport by and for the same enterprise) and private transport (CEC, 1992a). To grow together, the continent needs the mobility of people and goods made possible by an efficient transport system.

The benefits of transport, however, come at a high price. The Task Force on the Environment and the EC Internal Market considered transport: '...the most important environmental impact of the Internal Market' (Task Force Environment and the Internal Market, 1990). Not only are the building and maintenance of transport infrastructure a significant item in government spending and accidents a heavy social cost (see Chapters 10 and 11), but nuisances from noise, air pollution and the consumption of energy and natural resources also represent considerable environmental liabilities. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from transport are a major contributor to the greenhouse effect. Road transport is currently the greatest offender, accounting for 80 per cent of CO2 emissions from transport and 60 per cent of total nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions. Routine and accidental releases of oil or chemical substances into the environment by lorries and tankers contribute to the pollution of soils, rivers and the sea. Transport infrastructure covers an increasing amount of land to the virtual exclusion of other uses, cuts through ecosystems and spoils the view of natural scenery and historic monuments.

No mode of motorised transport is environmentally friendly. However, some modes of transport, notably rail and inland waterway, have lower environmental impacts than others, such as road and air. An analysis of transport developments and their impact on the environment must therefore distinguish between different modes of transport, and whether these modes are transporting passengers or freight.
The social and environmental costs in Germany of road transport alone have been put at 2.5 per cent of GDP (Kågeson, 1993). For OECD countries as a whole the figure for road transport has been put even higher at nearer 5 per cent (OECD, 1988). It is therefore questionable whether the present organisation and level of transport in Europe are environmentally sustainable.

Figure 21.1 shows the contribution of road transport to a number of environmental problems in The Netherlands. For example, road transport is the main cause of noise nuisance in The Netherlands (over 80 per cent), while contributing little to waste disposal problems (under 5 per cent). Comparisons of the range of environmental impacts from transport would be possible with such 'theme profiles' for other countries. Unfortunately, theme profiles have so far only been developed for The Netherlands (Adriaanse, 1993).


Download complete chapter in .zip/.htm format: Chap21.zip Approx. 279 Kb

 

Contents


21.1 - Introduction
21.2 - Environmental Impacts

21.2.1 - Overview
21.2.2 - Energy consumption and climate change

21.2.2.1 - Energy consumption
21.2.2.2 - Climate change
21.2.2.3 - Outlook

21.2.3 - Conventional emissions

21.2.3.1 - Nitrogen oxides from road transport
21.2.3.2 - Other emissions from road transport
21.2.3.3 - Off-road emissions
21.2.3.4 - Aircraft emissions
21.2.3.5 - Railway emissions
21.2.3.6 - Maritime and inland waterway emissions
21.2.3.7 - Outlook

21.2.4 - Land intrusion

21.3 - Trends and Underlying Forces in the Transport System

21.3.1 - Growing transport demand

21.3.1.1 - Economic growth
21.3.1.2 - Changes in industrial structure affecting freight transport
21.3.1.3 - Socio-economic factors affecting passenger transport

21.3.2 - Changing market shares of different transport modes

21.3.2.1 - Outlook

21.4 - Outlook
21.5 - Conclusions


Geographical coverage

[+] Show Map

Document Actions

Comments

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