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EEA Publishes Transport and Environment Report

10 November 2011: The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published its annual report on pollutant emissions from transport, highlighting a fall in 2009 that may, however, only be a temporary effect of the economic downturn.

For the first time, the Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism (TERM) considers a comprehensive set of quantitative targets proposed by the European Commission's 2011 roadmap on transport. The resulting report, "Laying the foundations for greener transport — TERM 2011: transport indicators tracking progress towards environmental targets in Europe,” shows that some efficiency gains have been made: for example, new cars in 2010 were approximately a fifth more efficient than in 2000. However, it also notes that these relatively modest gains are often outpaced by growing demand, even if the recession slowed activity in some areas. Between 1990 and 2009, demand for transport grew by approximately one third, leading to a 27 % increase in greenhouse gases (GHGs) from transport in the same period. Among other things, the report highlights that roads, railways and motorways are cutting up Europe's landscape into ever smaller parcels, with serious consequences for biodiversity: nearly 30% of land in the EU is moderately, highly or very highly fragmented, restricting movement and breeding of many different species. The report concludes by underscoring opportunities for policy makers to address these problems coherently, for example by jointly addressing air quality and climate change. [EEA press release][Publication: Laying the foundations for greener transport — TERM 2011: transport indicators tracking progress towards environmental targets in Europe]