Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area

Putting sustainability at the heart of transport

Man in suit on bicycleTransport is heavily dependent on imported oil. And while most sectors have been reducing CO2 emissions, transport’s share has been steadily increasing. By 2050, we need to have greatly reduced those CO2 emissions and made inroads into tackling congestion and environmental pollution. To achieve Europe’s targeted 80% CO2 reduction by 2050 compared to 1990, oil consumption in the transport sector must drop by around 70% from today, implying a revolution in transport fuels and the way we travel.

  • In the EU, transport depends on oil and oil products for more than 96% of its energy needs.

    Source: Energy and Transport in Europe – Statistical Pocketbook 2010.

  • Europe imports around 84% of its crude oil from abroad. In 2010, the EU’s oil import bill was around € 210 billion.

    Source: Eurostat; EC own calculations

  • Transport greenhouse gas emissions, including from international aviation and maritime transport, increased by around 34% between 1990 and 2008. Over the same period, energy industries reduced their emissions by about 9%.

    Source: European Environment Agency

  • Transport is responsible for about a quarter of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions. 12.8% of overall emissions are generated by aviation, 13.5% by maritime transport, 0.7% by rail, 1.8% by inland navigation and 71.3% by road transport (2008).

    Source: European Environment Agency

  • In London, Cologne, Amsterdam and Brussels, drivers spend more than 50 hours a year in road traffic jams. In Utrecht, Manchester and Paris, they spend more than 70 hours stuck on roads.

    SourcesINRIX European National Traffic Scorecard 2010

  • The share of road transport in intra-EU long distance freight transport is around 33%, while rail and inland waterways jointly contribute less than 20%. The poor environmental performance of the transport system is linked to the fact that the generally greener rail and inland waterways transport have failed to exploit their potential in medium to long distances.

    Source: TRANSTOOLS transport model pdf - 2 MB [2 MB]  (Appendix 5 of the Impact Assessment accompanying the White Paper, SEC(2011) 358).

  • Cars are the most popular passenger mode across the EU: they represent some 72% of all passenger kilometres. However, the private car is rarely the most energy-efficient form of transport. According to data from the UK, 60% of cars have only one occupant. The percentage increases to approximately 85% for commuting and business trips.

    Source: Energy and Transport in Europe – Statistical Pocketbook 2010;

    United Kingdom Department for Transport, 2008, Transport Trends: 2008 edition.

  • One bus could carry the same number of people as 30 cars, while only occupying the road space of three cars.

    Source: International Road Transport Union

  • Travelling from London to Brussels by train produces roughly nine times less emissions per passenger km than a plane journey.

    Source: Eurostar figures quoted in EEA, TERM 2007, Climate for a transport change.

  • Green technology offers European companies a huge commercial opportunity. Cutting emissions means investing in technology, but Europe is lagging behind its competitors. Japanese manufacturers are leading the field for hybrid cars, for example. The environmental technologies market is growing. Worth €1 200 billion in 2007, it is expected to reach €3 100 billion by 2020. Products and services related to sustainable mobility will represent a global market of €300 billion in 2020 (up from €200 billion today).

    Sources: BMU, 2009, GreenTech made in Germany 2.0

    JRC, 2009, 2009 Technology Map of the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan

  • Consumers say they are willing to make changes to reduce emissions. The majority of car users (66%) say they would compromise on a car’s size in order to reduce emissions and 62% say the same about the car’s range– i.e. the distance driven before needing to refuel or recharge the vehicle. More than half (60%) would also be willing to pay more for their car if this helped reduce emissions.

    Source: Eurobarometer survey on the future of transport pdf - 2 MB [2 MB] .

  • Public transport quality and connections need to be greatly improved if consumer behaviour is to change. A large majority (71%) of car users feel that public transport is less convenient than the car. A similar proportion (72%) say they don’t use public transport because of a lack of connections (49% of “very important responses”). 64% blame too few services and 54% mention lack of reliability.

    Source: Eurobarometer survey on the future of transport pdf - 2 MB [2 MB] .

Last update: 23/06/2011 | Top