EPRS Admin By / March 19, 2021

Evolution of EU transport CO2 emissions

Evolution of EU transport CO2 emissions, 1990-2018

Evolution of EU transport CO2 emissions, 1990-2018

Transport is an important climate change driver and tourism further amplifies this trend. Transport accounts for about a third of the final energy consumption in the EU, mostly sourced from fossil fuels (95 % in 2015). It is the only sector where GHG emissions have not been decoupled from economic growth and have kept increasing due to increasing demand, in particular those caused by aviation and shipping. While cutting these emissions is essential for a climate-neutral economy and the potential for reduction is large, the outcome will depend on travel behaviour choices; as well as on how fast new technologies and applications can be developed, manufactured and sold to buyers; whether cleaner solutions can be retrofitted to existing fleets or will concern only new fleet additions.
Transport-related CO2 emissions from tourism, at about 5 % worldwide in 2016, were predicted to grow by 25 % by 2030 (2019 scenario). Aligning tourism with climate action requires adopting a low carbon pathway based on awareness and optimisation, measurement and disclosure of the emissions generated by tourism activities and setting of evidence-based targets. Changes can be achieved through the transport means used, for instance by giving preference to rail over air travel for shorter distances. The choice of travel destinations and distances involved can also reduce emissions, as witnessed during the Covid 19 pandemic, with an increase in domestic holidays.

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