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Estimating emissions from road transport to facilitate sound policy solutions in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia

Pollution from car exhaust

Transport continues to be a significant source of air pollution, especially in cities in the UNECE region. Air pollutants, such as particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), harm human health and the environment. Although air pollution from transport has decreased in the last decade because of the introduction of fuel quality standards, the Euro vehicle emission standards and the use of cleaner technologies, too many people are still exposed to concentrations of air pollution that exceed the guideline level set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In order for policymakers to be able to act on transport-related air pollution and devise tailor-made policy solutions for a country, precise and complete data on transport emissions are needed.

Under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (Air Convention), UNECE has been assisting countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) to improve their emission inventory data with a view to facilitating their ratification and implementation of the Air Convention and its key protocols. This week (14 and 15 June 2021), experts from EECCA countries participated in an online workshop to improve their understanding of advanced methods to estimate emissions from the road transport sector. Specifically, participants learned about the so-called COPERT (Computer Programme to calculate Emissions from Road Transport​) model, the most advanced method to calculate emissions, using data on vehicle population, mileage, speed and ambient temperature, among others. The use of the COPERT software tool allows for a transparent and standardized, hence consistent and comparable data collecting and emissions reporting procedure, in accordance with the requirements under the Air Convention.

The workshop was a first in a series intended to enhance capacities of experts in the EECCA countries to develop high quality and accurate road transport emission inventories, which are part of the national reporting of emissions under the Air Convention and serve to improve the scientific basis for policymaking. A follow-up activity is planned for in 2022.

For more information on capacity-building under the UNECE Air Convention, please visit: http://www.unece.org/environmental-policy/conventions/envlrtapwelcome/capacity-building.html. 

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