When returning from the vacation this year, as most persons nowadays, I was met by a full mail box. When sorting the priorities my attention was caught by a press release from the EU commission; saying that EU now after three years has reviewed the progress of the sustainable development. You will find the 16 page report in the 2009 Review of the European Union Strategy for Sustainable Development.
About the transport sector the introduction section points out that the growing energy consumption by transports continues to rise. And, in the “Sustainable transport” section the following is said:
“Although GDP growth has exceeded growth in energy consumption by the transport sector, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from transport continue to rise. Whilst signs of decoupling transport volumes from economic growth are visible in passenger transport, freight transport has grown faster than GDP. Noise and air pollution caused by transport remain major issues across the EU, with severe health impacts.”
A series of directives have been introduced to safeguard the sustainable development of the transportations but the outlook concludes that it is essential for a future EU policy to take into account all aspects of sustainability, such as emissions noise, land occupancy and bio diversity. The actions based on a long term vision for transports of people and goods and should cover the complete transport system on EU, national and regional levels.
Following the thoughts of the review it would not give high odds to bet on more focus on decreasing the energy use for the transport sector.
As we know, in this discipline the bus beats, car, rail, tram, metro and other means of transportations (generally with exception of biking and walking) for persons.