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How is the transition to less carbon-intensive transport progressing in Europe?

1 Jul 2021

In Europe, the CO2 emissions due to transport grew continuously between 2014 and 2019. After a disrupt in 2020, it is going back to the unavoidable increase in 2021. 9 countries of the EU represent 80% of these emissions and determine the global EU trend.

Enerdata has leveraged its Odyssee and Global Energy and CO2 databases to publish a report to explore the evolution of the transition to less carbon-intensive transport through the study of 4 main levers, with a highlight on the best practices to reaching this objective.

First, we present the global trend and the main levers of decarbonisation: energy efficiency, fuel substitution, modal shift, and transport demand.

CO2 emissions of transport (MtCO2)

CO2 emissions of transport

Source: Enerdata, Odyssee database, Global Energy and CO2 database

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

The main target for car energy efficiency progress are the new vehicles. But it results with a minimal impact due to the existing fleet. In the report, you can access to all the details, including:

  • the impact of the SUV trend on the energy efficiency progress
  • the countries working best to meet the energy efficiency objective

For the road freight transport, the energy efficiency has frozen since 2007.

FUEL SUBSTITUTION

In average, the share of decarbonised sources in passenger and good transport has increased and some countries present strong engagement through financial and fiscal measures to support the electric vehicle penetration and the charging station deployment. But the share of EVs in car fleet is still negligible for most countries.

MODAL SHIFT

For freight, a few countries have experienced a significant modal shift from road to other modes.

For passengers, no significant shift was observed since 2010 in most countries. Mobility in public transport has slightly increased, but the share of each mode remains the same.

Mobility in public transport per capita (km/capita/year)

Mobility in public transport per capita

Source: Enerdata, Odyssee database

TRANSPORT DEMAND

Passenger mobility is decreasing since 2000 only in UK and Spain.

CONCLUSION

Two country ranking are implemented to check country performances on the level and trend of the following indicators: energy efficiency, fuel substitution, modal shift, and transport demand. The top three is the same in both ranking.