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TERM 2009: Indicators tracking transport and environment in the European Union

Introduction

This report presents a summary of selected issues from the European Environment Agency Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism (EEA TERM) set of transport and environment integration indicators. It is not simply a replication of indicators but rather an attempt to put insights from the indicators into the context of efforts to develop European policy towards achieving a low-carbon transport system.

The objective of this report is to indicate some of the main challenges to reducing the environmental impacts of transport and to make suggestions to improve the environmental performance of the transport system as a whole. The report examines issues centred around transport and climate change, which need to be addressed in the coming years. These issues are derived partly from the policy questions that form the backbone of TERM and partly from other ongoing work at EEA. As with previous TERM reports, this report evaluates the indicator trends measuring progress towards existing objectives and targets from EU policy documents and various transport and environmental directives.

The selection does not represent a full inventory of conclusions that can be extracted from TERM but rather a selection that tries to give deeper insight into the link between transport development and climate change. Readers are therefore encouraged to seek further information in the TERM fact sheets themselves (see link below), as well as in other sources referred to in the text.

TERM: a two-layered information system

TERM reports have been published since 2000 as an official indicator-based reporting mechanism. The present report is thus the tenth anniversary edition. As one of the environmental assessment tools of the Common Transport Policy, TERM offers important insights that can help in developing EU policies. With this report, the EEA aims to show the main developments over the past decade and the challenges that lie ahead, thereby also making it a comment on contemporary EU transport policy.

Currently, TERM consists of 40 indicators (see the overview in Annex 2), structured around seven policy questions (see box page 7). It addresses various target groups, ranging from high-level policymakers to technical policy experts. It is therefore set up as a two-layered information system, with different degrees of analytical detail.

This report summarises the key messages from the indicators. Indicator fact sheets constitute a more detailed information layer. The fact sheets provide an in-depth assessment for each indicator, including an overview of the main policy context and existing EU policy targets related to the indicator; an analysis of data quality and shortcomings; a description of metadata; and recommendations for future improvement of the indicator and data. The TERM indicator fact sheets form the reference information system of this report and can be downloaded from the EEA website at: www.eea.europa.eu/themes/transport.

Scope of the report

The report aims to cover all 32 EEA member countries. These are the 27 EU Member States, one candidate country (Turkey), and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Switzerland only recently became an EEA member and has not provided data for all TERM indicators. Where data are not complete, this is generally noted in the metadata section, where different country groupings are also described.

In terms of time coverage, most indicators cover the last 10 years subject to data availability. There are cases, however, where data for some Member States have only become available recently, or where the transition from a centrally planned to market economy has led to such big changes that comparisons over time become irrelevant.

Unless other sources are given, all assessments including in this report are taken from TERM fact sheets and are based on data from Eurostat.

The underlying fact sheets used for this report were developed by the European Topic Centre for Air and Climate Change and a consortium led by TRL of the United Kingdom.

The project was managed and the final version of the text written by Peder Jensen, EEA. Substantial input and review was also provided by Anke Lükewille, Cinzia Pastorello, Colin Nugent, Martin Adams, Peder Gabrielsen, Ricardo Fernandez, Valentin Leonard Foltescu, all from EEA. In addition, comments were received from other EEA staff, several EEA member countries and the European Commission.