The contribution of transport to air quality - TERM 2012: Transport indicators tracking progress towards environmental targets in Europe

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Courtesy of European Environment Agency (EEA)

The Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism (TERM) began as part of a project dating from 1998 that aimed to better integrate transport and environment strategies in Europe. The indicators originally developed by EEA for TERM aimed to both assess progress towards this integration and to provide general information to the public about the links between transport and the environment.

This original purpose of the indicators has been slightly modified in the light of the White Paper on Transport launched in 2011 (EC, 2011a). This White Paper led to an adaptation of the TERM reporting, so it could measure progress towards a series of new goals including assisting in measuring progress towards the 60 % reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transport (including aviation but excluding international maritime) by 2050. The European Parliament resolution on the new Transport White Paper specifically asked the European Commission to carry out an annual assessment of progress (EP, 2011a).

TERM fulfils the environmental part of this request. TERM 2011 already introduced the Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism Core Set of Indicators (TERM-CSI) to facilitate such an assessment. These comprise the original set of indicators formulated before the 2011 White Paper, as well as the indicators that were subsequently developed to assess progress towards the new goals, including those contained in the White Paper. TERM 2011 also provided the baseline against which progress will be checked. However, it should be understood that the baseline was not complete, as most of the data were not available for 2010. The baseline has to be completed in TERM 2012.

TERM aims to offer the most relevant and up to date information on the main issues regarding transport and environment in Europe, particularly the areas for which targets have been set. TERM aims to present this information in a visual way so the reader can rapidly assess the degree to which progress has been made.

In addition to this general role, TERM also seeks to provide the relevant information on a specific topic of interest every year. For 2012, the focus will be on transport emissions and air quality.

Figure 1.1 presents the overall methodology designed for the TERM reports, with an update reflecting the two main objectives for TERM 2012.

Box 1.1 A note on country groupings

Throughout the report abbreviations are used to refer to specific country groupings. The following definitions are used:

  • EU-15: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
  • EU-10: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
  • EU-12: EU-10, Bulgaria and Romania.
  • EFTA-4: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
  • EU-25: EU-15 and EU-10.
  • EU-27: EU-15 and EU-12.
  • EEA-32: EEA member countries (EU-27, EFTA-4 and Turkey).

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