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Are we moving in the right direction? Indicators on transport and environmental integration in the EU: TERM 2000

National monitoring system

Indicator 28: National transport and environment monitoring systems


Most countries report transport and environment indicators under state-of-the-environment reports or reports on environmental/sustainability indicators. Only Austria and Finland have as yet set up indicator reporting mechanisms along the lines of TERM. Sweden and France are planning to do so.


  • Monitor the effectiveness of transport strategies.


  • The number of Member States that have implemented indicator-based monitoring systems for transport and the environment.


Policy and targets

Monitoring at the national level is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of national and regional policy measures and strategies in more depth than is possible within TERM. Following the Cardiff and Vienna Summits, some countries have started preparatory work to establish national indicator-based monitoring systems. While TERM can serve as a common framework, national reports are expected to be more detailed. Regular updates of this indicator should facilitate coordination between TERM and national initiatives.

Box 7.1: Member State reporting systems on transport and environment indicators


In 1997 the Ministry of Environment, Youth and Family Affairs published its first Environmental Balance of Transport: Austria 1950-96. The aim was to provide data and analyses that can feed into the development of strategies to achieve environmentally sound transport. The report presents time-series data for the key pressures transport exerts on the environment and allows some comparisons by transport mode. It takes into account the environmental impacts of all transport-related processes, from the manufacture of vehicles and provision of infrastructure, through operation and maintenance, to disposal.


Finland has an action programme aimed at reducing the impacts of transport on the environment. The first programme report was published in 1995, with a follow-up in 1996 that monitored progress in terms of specific objectives. The information was qualitative rather than quantitative and Finland is developing a new programme that is expected to use more quantitative indicators and may include some of those used in TERM.


Sweden is setting up a new system of reporting on transport, led by the Swedish Institute for Communication Analysis, in cooperation with the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This will bring all transport reporting procedures together under a single framework. The EPA is committed to developing indicators and environmental objectives by the end of 1999. This represents a change from the existing system of transport and environment reporting in Sweden, which has involved the National Transport Administration reporting separately to the government on road, rail, shipping and aviation on an annual basis.

Source: ERM, 1999

Reporting on transport and the environment in EU Member States was reviewed in the TERM feasibility study (ERM, 1999) which examined:

  • the status of transport and environment indicators and the processes used by Member States to develop them;
  • the type of indicators developed and their links with TERM and other relevant indicators.

The findings are summarised in Table 7.3.

Table 7.3: National transport and environment reporting mechanisms

Member State

Transport included in general state-of-the-environment reporting

Separate transport and environment reporting

Indicator scope

environmental consequences


transport demand

transport supply

price signals


















United Kingdom

Source: EEA
Note: UD ‘under development’

Reporting varies between Member States; most countries report transport and environment indicators under state-of-the-environment reports or reports on environmental/sustainability indicators. Only Austria and Finland have, as yet, set up an indicator-based monitoring system specifically for transport. Sweden and France are planning to do so. The Portuguese Ministry of Environment has conducted a methodological study to identify integration indicators. Indicator and reporting initiatives are likely to increase with the Cardiff Process providing an impetus to report on integration at sectoral level.

Comparing the scope of the national reports with the TERM indicator list shows that national reports mostly concentrate on a few indicators such as air emissions, noise, fuel prices, taxes and length of road infrastructure. Less frequently reported indicators include fragmentation of land, uptake of cleaner fuels, public awareness, price and subsidies.

In the majority of Member States the environment ministry or environmental protection agency has taken the lead in developing sustainability reporting or state-of-the-environment reports and indicators. Systems are however often developed in partnerships. In Sweden, for example, the Environmental Protection Agency works closely with the Swedish Institute for Communication Analysis.

Finland is an exception: the Ministry of Transport and Communications liaises with other ministries to collect relevant statistics. The Ministry of Environment is responsible for producing and publishing other state-of-the-environment and related indicator reports.

Future work

  • Updating this indicator could most effectively be done through an interactive forum where Member States contribute information on their transport and environment indicator reports. The EEA’s interest group on Transport and Environment ( could be extended for this purpose.
  • Information on national transport and environment reports could be integrated and made accessible through the EEA’s on-line database on the State of the Environment Reporting Information System (SERIS).


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