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Indicator Specification

Greenhouse gas emissions from transport in Europe

Indicator Specification
  Indicator codes: TERM 002
Published 18 Dec 2020 Last modified 18 Dec 2020
8 min read
This indicator shows historical greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transport sector, as well as emissions projected up to 2035 under scenarios in which policies currently in place (‘with existing measures’) and planned (‘with additional measures’) in the EU Member States (EU-27) are implemented. The disaggregated level assessment illustrates trends and projections in key transport sub-sectors. It covers IPCC source categories 1.A.3, 1.D.1.a and 1.D.1.b (as used in GHG emission inventories ).

Assessment versions

Published (reviewed and quality assured)
 

Rationale

Justification for indicator selection

No rationale/justification has been specified

Scientific references

  • No rationale references available

Indicator definition

This indicator shows historical greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transport sector, as well as emissions projected up to 2035 under scenarios in which policies currently in place (‘with existing measures’) and planned (‘with additional measures’) in the EU Member States (EU-27) are implemented. The disaggregated level assessment illustrates trends and projections in key transport sub-sectors.

It covers IPCC source categories 1.A.3, 1.D.1.a and 1.D.1.b (as used in GHG emission inventories).

Units

Greenhouse gas emissions are measured in million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2e)

Change in emission levels from 1990 (index 1990 = 100)

 

Policy context and targets

Context description

The European Green Deal (COM(2019) 640 finalsets out the aim to achieve a carbon neutral EU by 2050. This requires the decarbonisation of all sectors. In its proposal for the Climate Law (COM(2020) 80 final), the European Commission proposed to increase the intermediate GHG emission reduction target for 2030 to 55 %, accepted by the European Council at the end of 2020.

In December 2020, the Commission published ‘Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy’ (COM(2020) 789 final), laying out its vision to ensure that the EU transport system can achieve a green transformation.

The transport sector is responsible for nearly a quarter of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, this sector has proven difficult to decarbonise, and has not shown the same decreases in GHG emissions since 1990 as other sectors. Therefore, it is important to track this sector in detail and project changes in GHG emissions based on the reductions possible with policy measures that have already been adopted or are planned in the EU Member States.

In the implementation of the 2030 climate and energy framework, commercial aviation (all airlines operating in Europe) is covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, while the rest of the transport sector (excluding international shipping) is covered by the Effort Sharing Regulation. The indicator allows the contributions of the transport sector to meeting targets set out in both these pieces of legislation to be assessed in detail.

Targets

Targets not defined for this indicator

Related policy documents

  • 2030 Climate and Energy Framework
    EUCO 169/14 European Council (23 and 24 October 2014) ‒ Conclusions EUCO 169/14
  • European Climate Law proposal
    Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL establishing the framework for achieving climate neutrality and amending Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 (European Climate Law)
  • Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy
    COM(2020) 789 final ANNEX to the COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy – putting European transport on track for the future {SWD(2020) 331 final}
  • The European Green Deal
    Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions (COM(2019) 640 final).

Key policy question

Greenhouse gas emissions from transport in Europe, aggregated assessment level

Specific policy question

Greenhouse gas emissions from transport in Europe, disaggregated assessment level

 

Methodology

Methodology for indicator calculation

The indicator uses information from three EEA data sets: the greenhouse gas emissions inventory, approximated estimates of greenhouse gas emissions and greenhouse gas emissions projections.

The aggregated level assessment uses historical and projected GHG emissions for the transport sector as a whole: this is a sum of IPCC categories 1.A.3 (transport), 1.D.1.a (international aviation) and 1.D.1.b (international maritime transport).

The disaggregated level assessment uses historical and projected GHG emissions for various transport modes: road transport (IPCC category 1.A.3.b), railway transport (1.A.3.c), domestic navigation (1.A.3.d), international maritime transport (1.D.1.b) and aviation (1.A.3.a and 1.D.1.a).

Projections cover the period 2015-2035 (the historic years in the projections show values used for calibrating the projection). Two distinct projection scenarios are developed by the Member States, based on different levels of implementation of climate mitigation policies: the ‘with existing measures’ scenario includes policies already adopted, while the ‘with additional measures’ scenario includes planned policies and national targets.

Methodology for gap filling

No methodology for gap filling has been specified. Probably this info has been added together with indicator calculation.

Methodology references

No methodology references available.

 

Data specifications

EEA data references

Data sources in latest figures

 

Uncertainties

Methodology uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Data sets uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Rationale uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Further work

Short term work

Work specified here requires to be completed within 1 year from now.

Long term work

Work specified here will require more than 1 year (from now) to be completed.

General metadata

Responsibility and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Rasa Narkeviciute

Ownership

European Environment Agency (EEA)

Identification

Indicator code
TERM 002
Specification
Version id: 2
Primary theme: Transport Transport

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled once per year

Classification

DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)

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