Air travel is the fastest growing sector of transport in Europe
Short-haul flights within Europe up by 48 per cent
27th April, 2010
Report highlights rapid growth in short-haul flights within Europe and the failure to tackle air pollution from road transport
Air travel within the EU remains the fastest growing sector of transport although growth in its greenhouse gas emissions has slowed, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA).
Car journeys still make up the majority of all passenger kilometres in Europe (72 per cent) but air travel's share increased from 6 to 9 per cent between 1997 and 2007.
Overall GHG emissions from the transport sector increased by 28 per cent in Europe between 1990 and 2007 and now account for 19 per cent of all emissions.
However, if transport infrastructure, manufacture and emissions associated with oil and gas exploration are included the figure reaches to almost one-third of Europe's GHG total.
The growth in GHG emissions from aviation slowed from 6.4 per cent in 2005/6 to 0.9 per cent 2006/7 (the last year of reference) but the EEA said this was down to slower demand growth and that it expected continued growth in the long-term because of the close link between aviation and economic development.
The EEA report also highlighted the continued problem of air pollution from the transport sector - road transport is the largest emitter of nitrogen oxides and the second largest contributer of particulate matter (PM), which is particularly harmful for asthma sufferers.
EU-wide policy measures such as fuel quality and vehicle emission standards for new vehicles have reduced emissions but most EU member states still do not comply with PM limits introduced in 2005.
The UK is one of those missing the EU targets with nitrogen dioxide levels - on busy roads levels have been recorded at 200-300 per cent higher than the EU limits, according to air pollution experts at King's College London.
Short haul flights not the problem says climate watchdog
Long haul leisure flights the main driver of aviation emissions, says report that believes Heathrow airport can be expanded without breaking the UK's carbon emissions targets
How to check the air quality in your area
You might not know it, but the UK has some of the worst air quality hotspots in Europe. Follow these tips to find the cleanest air you possibly can
Bigger engines, two-car households and school runs on rise
Far from downsizing, Government transport statistics reveal a trend towards multi-car households and bigger engines as well as more children being driven to school
Air pollution death toll could hit 50,000 a year, say MPs
UK’s poor air quality is a bigger killer than passive smoking, road traffic accidents and obesity says parliamentary committee
|HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Tell the Government: we want cheaper trains
Help the Campaign for Better Transport push for cheaper, greener, less crowded trains by filling in a simple online form
Using this website means you agree to us using simple cookies.