European environment agency stresses the underestimation of car pollution

  • Updated27 April 2005
  • News

The agency published in October a report describing ten key transport and environment issues of policy-makers.

The report states that traffic is growing at roughly the same rate than GDP raising the challenge of decoupling policy. Even if local car pollution is falling, inadequate test standards are underestimating emissions of harmful air polluants from new cars and many diesel car owners are making things worse by modifying their engines to increase power, explaining the reasons why air pollution in Europe’s cities is not falling faster.

Moreover, the tests cycle for new vehicles does not cover air-conditioning and other energy consuming equipment and does not reflect the way cars are really driven, minimizing the technological impacts on greenhouse effect.

The report also expressed a concern about public transport fares, that rise faster than the cost of private car, giving thus an advantage to a mode more harmful to environment. EEA stresses the impact on landscape of transport infrastructures and calls for a better use of the existing ones thanks to road pricing or congestion charging than construction of new ones.