Tag Archive: EEA

  1. CO2 emissions from new cars and vans further decrease as electric vehicle sales grow in Europe

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    Source: European Environment Agency

    According to provisional data released by the European Environment Agency (EEA), average CO2 emissions from newly registered cars in Europe continued to decline in 2023, showing a 1.4% reduction compared to 2022. Similarly, emissions from new vans decreased by 1.6% from the previous year. These declines are largely attributed to the increasing prevalence of fully electric vehicles.

    The provisional data, detailing newly registered cars and vans in Europe, indicate that 10.7 million new cars were registered in Europe in 2023, marking a 13.2% rise from 2022. Nearly a quarter of these registrations were electric, either fully or as plug-in hybrids, with Norway, Sweden, and Iceland having the highest shares of electric cars at 90.5%, 60.7%, and 60.4%, respectively.

    In 2023, 1.2 million new vans were registered in Europe, representing a 20.2% increase from 2022 levels. The proportion of electric vans reached 8%, with more than half of these registrations occurring in France, Germany, and Sweden.

    Key figures:

    • New passenger cars: 10.7 million registrations (+13.2% from 2022), 106.6 g CO2/km average emissions (-1.4%), 23.6% electric (including plug-in hybrids), 15.5% fully electric, and an average mass of 1,545 kg (+1.3%).
    • New vans: 1.2 million registrations (+20.2% from 2022), 180.8 g CO2/km average emissions (-1.6%), 8% fully electric, and an average mass of 1,896 kg (+1%).

    The transport sector accounts for approximately a quarter of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions, with road transport contributing approximately three-quarters of this. The EU aims to reduce transport emissions by 90% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels and achieve zero emissions for all new cars and vans by 2035.

    About the vehicle data

    The EEA gathers data on new vehicle registrations in Europe under Regulation (EU) 2019/631, based on the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). The data, which will be finalized later in the year after manufacturers review them, are currently provisional. The EEA also publishes real-world CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data, collected via on-board fuel consumption monitoring (OBFCM) devices, to compare laboratory and actual road performance. Further analysis is provided by the European Commission.

    Provisional datasets reflect the CO2 emissions calculated through laboratory testing, the EEA has previously published data on real-world CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of cars and vans.

  2. Air quality in Europe continues to improve, but many areas remain unsafe due to pollution

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    Source: European Environmental Agency

    Air quality in Europe has shown significant improvement over the recent decades; however, it remains a prominent environmental health concern both in Europe and globally. The latest analysis by the European Environment Agency (EEA) on air quality data from 2022 and 2023 reveals ongoing improvements in Europe’s air quality, yet many regions, particularly urban areas, still exceed recommended safety levels for pollution.

    The EEA’s briefing ‘Europe’s Air Quality Status 2024‘ delves into the concentrations of key air pollutants across Europe in 2022 and 2023, comparing them against both EU air quality standards and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. While 2022 data are finalized and validated, the 2023 analysis is based on provisional data.

    Although Europe’s air quality is improving, the EEA’s analysis indicates that EU standards are still unmet in various parts of Europe. In 2022, only 2% of monitoring stations across Europe recorded fine particulate concentrations exceeding the EU annual limit value. However, nearly all Europeans (96%) who live in cities are exposed to levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) that are above WHO guideline levels.

    Fine particulate matter is the primary air pollutant causing adverse health effects throughout Europe, originating predominantly from solid fuel use in domestic heating, industrial processes, and road transportation.

    The EEA briefing underscores significant disparities between countries and regions, with central and eastern Europe exhibiting higher pollution levels. In 2022, only Iceland maintained fine particulate concentrations below WHO guideline levels, while three EU Member States—Croatia, Italy, and Poland—recorded concentrations surpassing EU limits.

    Aligned with the European Green Deal, the zero pollution action plan aims to reduce premature deaths caused fine particulate matter by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 2005 levels, with a broader objective of eliminating significant health impacts by 2050. Recent EU institutional agreements seek to update ambient air quality directives, aiming to align EU standards more closely with WHO guidelines and advance the objectives of the zero pollution action plan.

    The EEA’s briefing marks the initial analysis in the ‘Air Quality in Europe 2024’ series, with subsequent briefings planned on air pollutant emissions and the impacts of air pollution on ecosystems and human health, including estimates of associated deaths and illnesses.

  3. European Environment Agency shares post-COVID greenhouse gas emissions data from transport in Europe

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    Source: The European Environment Agency

    The EEA has reported that after six years of the EU transport sector experiencing a steady growth in greenhouse gas emissions, in 2020 its rates had decreased substantially because of reduced activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Preliminary estimates of 2021 emissions indicate an 8.6% increase in transport, followed by a growth of 2.7% in 2022. National predictions compiled by the European Environment Agency suggest that, even with measures planned in each of the Member States, emissions from domestic transport will not drop below their 1990 level until 2032. International transport emissions from the aviation and maritime sectors are projected to continue increasing.

    The EU’s domestic GHG transport emissions increased from 2013 until the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, largely due to passenger transport growth and inland freight volumes. Between 2019 and 2020, transport emissions went down by 13.5% and recovered from the pandemic effects in 2021 with a growth of 8.6%. In 2022, preliminary estimates indicate these emissions continued their upward trend by 2.7%.

    According to their national projections, Member States predict these transport emissions will increase in the following years. As no additional measures have been taken, emissions are expected to grow in 2024. There are transport-related measures currently planned, but not yet implemented by Member States; they are projected to reverse this growth after emissions peak this year.

    Looking ahead to 2030, current policies and measures would reduce GHG transport emissions to a rate of 4% above 1990 levels. With extra measures, EEA believes that 2030 transport emissions can go down to 5% below 1990 levels. The majority of planned measures and policies for the transport sector focus on promoting low-carbon fuels or electric cars, as well as driving a modal shift to public transport usage.

    In addition to domestic transport, international aviation and international maritime industries also add to transport-related emissions. In terms of categories within domestic transportation, navigation, aviation and railway emissions have all decreased since 1990 and are predicted to stay relatively stable in coming years.

    Road travel accounts for the highest amount of overall transport emissions – emitting 76% of the EU’s transport GHG emissions (including domestic transport and international bunkers) in 2021. The majority of existing and planned measures in the Member States focus on road transport, so EEA predicts that this percentage will decrease because road transport decarbonises faster than other modes of transport. The largest emission increases until 2030 are forecasted to be from the aviation sector, followed by international maritime transport, as they have not been prioritised by national policies.

    The aviation industry was massively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with its international emissions being 58% lower in 2020 than in 2019. EEA has reported this emissions decrease as temporary, as air traffic grew by 24% in 2021 and increased further in 2022, with a rise of 48%. Flight numbers are expected to bounce back to 2019 levels by 2025 at the earliest.

  4. Improve efficiency of raw material sourcing to reduce emissions, study finds

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    A European Environment Agency (EEA) report dated August 30 2021 has illuminated the impact of raw material extraction and processing on emissions.

    Following climate-friendly practices has significant potential to cut greenhouse gas emissions in Europe and globally, with the extraction and processing of raw materials alone accounting for an estimated 18 % of the EU’s total consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions. The study concerns the extraction and processing of key raw materials for consumption in Europe, of the following types: copper, iron, gold, limestone and gypsum, bauxite and aluminium, timber, chemical and fertiliser minerals, and salt.

    It is suggested that raw material consumers can levy their purchasing power to influence suppliers to become more climate-friendly. This may take the form of including sourcing requirements in public procurement, or provisions in trade agreements for example. The EEA also lists opportunities for improvement, including “adopting a life cycle approach to allow better accounting and monitoring of climate-related impacts associated with raw material supply chains, promoting resource- and energy-efficient practices, promoting use of renewable energy sources during extraction and processing of raw materials, strengthening market demand for secondary raw materials and using international frameworks for increasing transparency and cooperation along the raw material supply chains.”

    In the quest to reduce emissions, this very first stage in manufacturing must not be ignored, and the report finds that better sourcing practices could potentially cut associated, consumption-based emissions by at least 10 %, or in many cases even more. Market demand and accessibility of information for end-users also come into play in working towards the goal of reducing harmful emissions.

    Read the article from EEA here.

    View the report here.

  5. Average CO2 emissions from new cars and new vans increased again in 2019

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    According to provisional data, published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA), average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new passenger cars registered in the European Union (EU), Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom (UK), increased in 2019, for the third consecutive year. The average CO2 emissions from new vans also increased slightly. Zero- and low-emission vehicles must be deployed much faster across Europe to achieve the stricter targets that apply from 2020.

    The EEA has published the provisional data for the average CO2 emissions from new passenger cars and vans registered in the EU, Iceland, Norway and the UK in 2019. The provisional 2019 data on new registrations can be explored through a new EEA data dashboard.

    After a steady decline from 2010 to 2016, by almost 22 grams of CO2 per kilometre (g CO2/km), average emissions from new passenger cars increased in 2017 and in 2018 (by 2.8 g CO2/km in total). According to provisional data, the upward trend continued with an additional increase of 1.6 g CO2/km in 2019, reaching 122.4 grams of CO2 per kilometre. This remains below the target of 130 g CO2/km that applied until 2019 but well above the EU target of 95 g CO2/km that phases-in this year.

    The reasons for the increase in car emissions include the growing share of the sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment. The market penetration of electric cars remained slow in 2019.

    Vans registered in the EU, Iceland, Norway and the UK in 2019 emitted on average 158.4 g CO2/km, which is 0.5 g/km more than in 2018. This remains well below the target of 175 g CO2/km that applied until 2019 but is still 11 g CO2/km higher than the EU target of 147 g CO2/km that applies from  this year on. Several factors affected this emission increase, including an increase in the average mass and only a limited increase of the share of electric vans (BEV sand PHEV) from 0.8 % in 2018 to 1.3% in 2019.

    Further details are here.


    Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash

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