Transport and Environment: Facing a Dilemma


Courtesy of European Environment Agency (EEA)

This report represents a summary of 10 selected issues from the EEA's TERM (transport and environment reporting mechanism) set of transport and environment integration indicators.

The objective is to indicate some of the main challenges to reducing the environmental impacts of transport, and to make suggestions for improving the environmental performance of the transport system as a whole. The report examines 10 key issues which need to be addressed in the coming years. These issues are derived from seven policy questions that form the backbone of TERM. As with previous TERM reports, this report evaluates the indicator trends in terms of progress towards existing objectives and targets. This is carried out using EU policy documents and various transport and environmental directives.

The selection of information presented in this report does not represent a full inventory of conclusions that can be extracted from TERM. Rather, the aim is to provide broad coverage of TERM. Readers are therefore encouraged to seek further information in the TERM fact sheets themselves.

TERM: a two-layer information system

TERM reports have been published as an official indicator-based reporting mechanism since 2000. As one of the environmental assessment tools of the common transport policy (EC, 2001b), it offers important guidelines for the development of EU policies. With this report, the EEA aims to show the main developments over the past decade and the challenges that lie ahead.

Currently, TERM consists of 40 indicators (see overview in the 'TERM indicators' section ) that are structured around seven policy questions (see box). It addresses various target groups, ranging from high-level policy-makers to technical policy experts. It is therefore set up as a two-layer information system with different degrees of analytical detail.

This report aggregates the key messages from the indicators. Indicator fact sheets constitute a more detailed information layer. The fact sheets provide an in-depth assessment for each indicator, including: an overview of the main policy context and existing EU policy targets related to the indicator; an analysis of data quality and shortcomings; a description of metadata; and recommendations for future improvement of the indicator and data. The TERM indicator fact sheets form the reference information system of this report and can be downloaded from the EEA website (

Scope of the report

The report aims to cover all EEA member countries: 25 EU Member States, three candidate countries (Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey), and Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Switzerland will become a member in 2006 and provides data in some cases. Where data are not complete, this is generally noted.

Most indicators cover the years since 1990, subject to data availability, but there are cases where data for the EU-10 have only become available recently or where the transition from a centrally planned to market economy has led to such big changes that comparisons become irrelevant.

Unless other sources are given, all assessments covered in this report are taken from TERM fact sheets and are based on data from Eurostat.

The underlying fact sheets used for this report have been developed by the European Topic Centre for Air and Climate Change and the consulting company CE-Delft. The project was managed and the final version of the text written by Peder Jensen of the EEA.

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