Peder Jensen, EEA transport and the environment expert.
Transport is harmful to the environment in many different ways. The most visible effect of transport is some of the emissions that we see: we can see the exhaust gas coming out of a car and at certain times it's very dirty and very dark. It's a very visible way where it's harming the environment, harming the air that we are all breathing. But there are also effects that are not quite so visible - when we are burning fuel in our engines we are emitting a lot of different gases and some of them are invisible greenhouse gases that help trap the heat in the atmosphere to get the earth to go warmer.
One of the other important effects of transport is the noise impact. Noise means that people have a hard time sleeping, that they therefore don't get the rest that they need. It also affects the animals, disturbs their life, if roads or railroads run through nature areas it therefore means a reduced quality of life for both animals and people.
Finally, transport infrastructure has a tendency to fragment natural habitats for animals. Lots of animals are disturbed by roads, they cannot cross the road, they are either scared off by the noise or they can't find ways to cross these different infrastructures and this means that the habitats they are living in don't work so well for their reproduction.
Lower speed limits on motorways are generally associated with road safety. But several European countries are now debating whether they also benefit the environment and, if so, how much. There is no ...