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Transport

Towards a more sustainable transport system

Transport underpins our society. It connects people, cities, countries and economies, fostering growth and employment. Nevertheless, transport remains a major source of environmental pressures in Europe, accounting for more than a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions, most of which are generated by road transport.

Average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of new cars dropped by 12% in 2020 compared to the year before, according to final figures published today by the European Environment Agency. The main reason for the sharp decrease of emissions was a surge in the share of electric vehicle registrations

About 18 million people suffer long-term annoyance from transport noise in the European Union (EU). The European Commission’s zero pollution action aims to reduce the number of people chronically disturbed by transport noise by 30% by 2030, compared to 2017 levels. According to the European Environment Agency’s assessment, published today, reaching this target is unlikely without further regulatory or legislative changes, mainly due to the difficulty in reducing the large number of people exposed to noise from road traffic.

The aviation sector has taken some steps to address its impacts on the environment and climate, but projected growth in demand calls for greater and more decisive action aligned with the European Union’s climate and environmental goals. The new European Aviation Environmental Report offers an overview of the current environmental performance of the sector. In addition to reviewing progress made since the 2019 edition, it includes recommendations with a view to reducing the climate change, noise and air quality impacts from aviation.

Published: 07 Sep 2022

Heavy-duty vehicles are responsible for approximately a quarter of CO2 emissions from road transport in the EU. Emissions in this sector have increased every year since 2014, dropping only in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For trucks, the primary cause of this trend is a growing demand for freight transport. It is partly offset by the improved energy efficiency of road freight transport. To contribute to the goal of a climate-neutral EU, a combination of changes is needed, including faster improvements in energy efficiency, a shift to vehicles with lower emissions and/or more efficient transport modes.

Published: 01 Jun 2022

Decarbonising road transport — the role of vehicles, fuels and transport demand

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