What do we see?
From an absolute numbers point of view, passenger transport emissions are higher than freight transport emissions. However, while the emissions associated with passenger transport appear to be rather constant – with some increases and decreases over time – the emissions of freight transport vehicles appear to be increasing steadily. The biggest rise was between 2012 and 2018, with an overall increase of 14% between 2010 and 2018. The increase in emissions associated with freight transport is higher than that for passenger transport. This can be attributed to economic evolution, which is reflected in the growth of freight transport, and specifically that of vans and diesel use. Meanwhile, the trends in passenger transport are associated with, and similar to, those in the number of passenger kilometres.
What’s the aim?
In a circular economy, the focus is on minimising material use and emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions associated with fuel use represent a significant share of the overall carbon footprint of mobility. The aim is therefore to reduce fuel use-related emissions by shifting to less polluting vehicles and, if possible, to reduce the number of vehicles altogether. To achieve this, we must also adopt alternative means of transport. For freight transport this could be achieved by, for example, a shift towards trains and ships, provided that the extra logistics required do not counteract the benefits. Another option would be to increase the use intensity and efficiency of road vehicles. Both strategies aim to reduce the material consumption per kilometre travelled (intensity) and increase the number of passengers or the freight load (efficiency).
What does this indicator measure?
This indicator measures the impact of fuel use in Flanders by providing data on the related greenhouse gas emissions in kilotonnes of CO2 equivalents. Data on the amount of fossil fuels used for road transport in Flanders was provided by the Flemish Environmental Report (MIRA) and refers to the Energy Balance of Flanders, provided by VITO. Both passenger and freight transport vehicles were included in the data.