Greening European transport consumption: change user behaviour and set carbon targets

News Published 24 Jun 2008 Last modified 21 Jun 2016
2 min read
There must be a clear, ambitious target for cutting CO2 emissions from transport in Europe. Citizen behaviour, together with improved use of technologies, have a major role to play. These are just a few of the messages emerging from the seminar: “Right on track - choosing the most eco-friendly transport option” organised by the International Union of Railways (UIC) today at the European Environment Agency.

The transport sector needs to intensify its efforts, meeting demands in a more effective way to achieve emissions reduction

Professor Jacqueline McGlade, EEA Executive Director

The UIC, with 171 member organisations worldwide, chose the conference to launch two innovative internet tools, EcoPassenger and EcoTransIT. These tools allow passengers to compare the energy consumed by a given journey, depending on the means of transport. In addition, users can calculate the true emissions of CO2 and other pollutants in order to choose the greener alternative for an itinerary within Europe. Such in-depth, cross-border information about the carbon footprint of travel was previously unavailable to the general public.

EcoPassenger and EcoTransIT were developed in cooperation with the German Institute of Energy and Environmental Research. “These new tools provide consumers with the facts they need to minimise their impacts on the environment from their travel choices”, said Professor Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the EEA.

Spiralling emissions from passenger and freight transport account for 22% of carbon emissions in the EU-27. They can be tackled with an adequate set of policies — including modal shift to less polluting forms of transport, using bioenergy with appropriate respect for sustainability constraints and internalising external costs. However, transport continues to demonstrate worrying trends compared to other sectors and remains a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants in Europe.

“The transport sector needs to intensify its efforts, meeting demands in a more effective way to achieve emissions reduction”, said Professor McGlade “If we do nothing about the growing emissions from transport — in particular road, aviation and shipping — the transport sector alone will produce more emissions in 2050 than the total allowance for Europe from all sources” added  Professor McGlade, referring to the goal set by the European Council of cutting emissions by 60-80 % by that time.




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