The EU 27 average sits at 1,545 kilograms per capita, Source: Depositphotos

Transport emissions in the EU still rising; Luxembourg tops the chart

Transport emissions in the EU still rising; Luxembourg tops the chart

Despite climate policies, according to the European Environment Agency, CO2 emissions from transport have risen by 24% in the last 30 years

On 11 November, the European Environment Agency (EEA) published detailed data on the EU’s CO2 emissions, focusing on sectors and countries. The data also featured projections on the region's future development of climate measures.

One very crucial takeaway from the analysis is that, although carbon emissions from most sectors have fallen significantly for most sectors, they have increased in the transport sector by an average of 24% in 2019. Notably, the data covers the period between 1990 and 2020, when during the pandemic lockdowns many sectors saw a dramatic decrease in emissions.

On top of this, the Austrian Automotive Club (Verkehrsklubs Österreich) published an analysis of transport emissions per capita per country based on the EEA data for 2020. These are calculated using the total amount of fuel purchased in a given country.

According to their publication, the country with the highest emissions per capita from transport is Luxembourg at an impressive 7,355 kilograms of CO2 per capita. The Grand Duchy is followed by Austria in second place with just 2,300 kilograms, while the EU 27 average sat at 1,545 kilograms.

On the other side of the spectrum, Romania had the lowest amount with 925 kilograms, followed by Malta with 970 and Slovakia with 1,250.

The Luxembourgish context

According to data from Eurostat for 2019, Luxembourg was the country in the EU with the highest car ownership rate per inhabitant, at 681 cars per 1,000 people. This data may be somewhat relevant to explaining why the Grand Duchy has such a high CO2 per capita ratio.

However, in the same publication, Eurostat put Italy in second place with 666 cars per 1,000 people. Moreover, Luxembourgish authorities have tried to introduce policies to cut back on car trips, including making public transport in the country free.

Also, due to the high number of cross-border work commuters, they launched a free cross-border public transport system that reaches all the way into neighbouring France at the start of 2022. Nevertheless, emissions seem to remain high.

Complete list of countries in the EU by emissions from the transport sector

Here is a list of the EU 27 by emissions from transport, from the Austrian Automotive Club research:

  1. Luxembourg: 7,355 kilograms of CO2 per capita;
  2. Austria: 2,300 kilograms;
  3. Slovenia: 2,180 kilograms;
  4. Lithuania: 2,110 kilograms;
  5. Ireland: 1,930 kilograms;
  6. Denmark: 1,930 kilograms;
  7. Belgium: 1,795 kilograms;
  8. Finland: 1,785 kilograms;
  9. Germany: 1,720 kilograms;
  10. Estonia: 1,655 kilograms;
  11. Poland: 1,645 kilograms;
  12. Czech Republic: 1,625 kilograms;
  13. Latvia: 1,595 kilograms;
  14. Cyprus: 1,565 kilograms;
  15. France: 1,550 kilograms;
  16. Spain: 1,480 kilograms;
  17. Netherlands: 1,455 kilograms;
  18. Croatia: 1,435 kilograms;
  19. Portugal: 1,390 kilograms;
  20. Sweden: 1,355 kilograms;
  21. Bulgaria: 1,335 kilograms;
  22. Italy: 1,330 kilograms;
  23. Hungary: 1,270 kilograms;
  24. Greece: 1,255 kilograms;
  25. Slovakia: 1,250 kilograms;
  26. Malta: 970 Kilograms;
  27. Romania: 925 kilograms.



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