Emissions failure for Europe

Drastic measures are required to ensure the region meets its targets for greenhouse gas emissions, according to the European Environment Agency.
TRAFFIC POLLUTION: Europe is struggling to meet its environmental targets.
TRAFFIC POLLUTION: Europe is struggling to meet its environmental targets.

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Drastic measures are required within the European transport sector to ensure the region meets its targets for greenhouse gas emissions, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA).

The organisation, which is based in Copenhagen, recently presented its annual "Climate for Transport Change" study to the European Parliament's Committee on Climate Change. The publication urges policy-makers to set challenging, yet realistic targets for the logistics industry throughout the European Union to help combat a growing number of concerns about the environment.

"I am convinced that we can limit the spiralling growth of emissions from the transport sector. The unrestrained development of transport activities has created too many side effects which concern everyone, such as noise and air pollution. It also inflicts severe damage upon Europe's biodiversity," said Professor Jacqueline McGlade, executive director of EEA.

"The European Union must act upon this growth of emissions. If transport, and particularly road transport, had followed the trends of other economic sectors, we could have shown international leadership by having reached our greenhouse gas emission targets under the Kyoto Protocol several years ago."

Environmental concerns within the passenger transport sector must also be addressed, according to the European Environment Agency, with approximately 12% of overall CO2 emissions within the region coming from fuel burnt by passenger cars. In addition, the occupancy rates of
private vehicles have gradually been going down.

"Transport has been a free-rider for too long when it comes to the fight against global warming and carbon emissions," said McGlade. "Governments and citizens need to radically rethink their approach to transport policy. We cannot continue to give privileges to less efficient transport modes."

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