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Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty vehicles in Europe

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.

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Transport and environment report 2021

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

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European Maritime Transport Environmental Report 2021

This report provides a factual analysis of the environmental pressures exerted by the maritime transport sector, presents up-to-date information on the relevant EU and international environmental standards and describes current and future actions to reduce the sector's impact on our environment.

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Rail and waterborne best for low-carbon motorised transport

A new study commissioned by the EEA shows a clear hierarchy of passenger and freight transport modes, in terms of their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Rail and waterborne transport have the lowest emissions per kilometre and unit transported, while aviation and road transport emit significantly more.

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Transport and environment report 2020 - Train or plane?

Traveling by plane, train or automobile: the most environmentally sound choice may not always be clear. The report assesses the value of travel by train and plane. Rail travel is the best and most sensible mode of travel, apart from walking or cycling. Aviation’s emission impacts are much higher on a passenger-kilometre basis. But flying is not necessarily the most harmful choice. Travel by a petrol or diesel-powered car, especially if traveling alone, can be more harmful.

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National action across all sectors needed to reach greenhouse gas Effort Sharing targets

This briefing analyses EU Member States’ historic and projected emissions that are not included under the EU Emissions Trading System.

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The first and last mile - the key to sustainable urban transport

Transport and environment report (TERM) 2019

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Transport: increasing oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions hamper EU progress towards environment and climate objectives

Mobility plays a key role in the EU economy. However, the EU transport sector still relies heavily on fossil fuels and is responsible for one quarter of Europe’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions — a share that keeps growing. In addition, the sector is a significant source of air pollution despite significant progress achieved since 1990, especially of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), as well as the main source of environmental noise in Europe. Current efforts to limit the sector’s environmental and climate impacts in Europe are not sufficient to meet the EU’s long-term climate and environmental policy objectives.

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Quality and greenhouse gas intensities of transport fuels in the EU in 2017

Monitoring under the Fuel Quality Directive in 2017 (2018 reporting)

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Fiscal instruments favouring electric over conventional cars are greener

Financial incentives and taxes set by countries can encourage consumers to buy passenger cars with lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. An increase in the uptake of electric vehicles reduces emissions of CO2 and air pollutants such as nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). Examples from a number of countries show that this uptake can be enhanced by well-designed incentives and taxes. In contrast, tax schemes that promote conventional cars labelled as cleaner do not always result in reduced emissions.

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Monitoring CO2 emissions from new passenger cars and vans in 2017

This report presents data on new passenger vehicles registered in Europe in accordance with EU Regulation (EC) No 443/2009 and data on new light commercial vehicles registered in Europe in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 510/2011.

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Electric vehicles from life cycle and circular economy perspectives - TERM 2018

Through the Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism (TERM) report, the EEA has been monitoring progress in integrating environmental objectives in transport since 2000. The TERM report provides information to the EEA's member countries, the EU and the public. The TERM includes several indicators used for tracking the short- and long-term environmental performance of the transport sector and for measuring progress towards meeting key transport-related policy targets. Since 2017, the indicator-based assessment component of the TERM report has been published as a separate briefing.

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Progress of EU transport sector towards its environment and climate objectives

Emissions from the EU transport sector are not reducing enough to limit its environmental and climate impacts in Europe. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transport have increased over the last three years, whilst average CO2 emissions of new passenger cars increased for the first time in 2017. The sector remains a significant source of air pollution, especially of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen dioxide, although these emissions have been reduced in the last decade. It also is the main source of environmental noise in Europe.

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Carbon dioxide emissions from Europe's heavy-duty vehicles

What is the environmental impact of Europe's reliance on heavy duty vehicles (HDVs)? In the EU-28, HDVs are currently responsible for 27 % of road transport carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Since 1990 these emissions have increased by 25 % and, in the absence of new policies, they are projected to further increase. However, society is also greatly reliant on HDVs; they transport people and goods, connect people and industries, and contribute to Europe's societal and economic development. This briefing discusses the HDV sector and its impact on CO2 emissions, and looks at Europe’s next steps towards reducing CO2 emissions from HDVs.

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Appropriate taxes and incentives do affect purchases of new cars

Financial incentives set by Member States, such as taxes, can drive reductions in average CO2 emissions from new passenger cars in Europe. This briefing describes how these measures affect the sales of vehicles with lower CO2 emissions and examines the extent to which differences in average CO2 emissions between countries may be attributable to differences in the taxation and incentives systems in place.

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Aviation and shipping — impacts on Europe's environment TERM 2017

Domestic and international aviation and shipping are key components of Europe's mobility system. They are both economic sectors that directly bring many societal and economic benefits, such as the delivery of a wide range of goods and services and provision of employment and mobility for personal leisure or business purposes. However, from the broader environmental perspective, both sectors are also seen as challenging, because increasing demand within each of the sectors is exerting increasing pressures on the environment and climate. Their joint consideration in this TERM 2017 report also reflects key similarities, opportunities and challenges between them.

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Fuel quality in the EU in 2016

Fuel quality monitoring under the Fuel Quality Directive.

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Monitoring CO2 emissions from new passenger cars and vans in 2016

European Environment Agency (EEA) is supporting the Commission in the monitoring of the CO2 performance of passenger cars and vans, according to the European Regulations (EC) 443/2009 and (EU) 510/2011.

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Monitoring progress of Europe's transport sector towards its environment, health and climate objectives

The ‘Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism’ (TERM) includes a number of indicators used for tracking the short and long-term environmental performance of the transport sector in the 28 Member States of the European Union (EU-28). This briefing presents the latest indicator-based assessment of progress being made towards key transport-related policy targets and objectives.

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NEC Directive reporting status 2017 - The need to reduce air pollution in Europe

Air pollution is the single largest environmental health risk in Europe, and can cause respiratory problems and shorten lifespans. It also contributes to the acidification of soil and surface water, causes eutrophication in sensitive habitats and can damage vegetation through exposure to ozone.

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