Evaluating 15 Years of Transport and Environmental Policy Integration
Since 2000 the Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism (TERM) has monitored the progress of the integration of environmental objectives into transport policy in the EU. The TERM 2015 report investigates key developments in the transport sector with regards to environment, identifying what has improved and what has been a barrier to the sector's environmental performance. Ecologic Institute contributed to the TERM 2015 report with a chapter on transport and biodiversity. The full report is available for download.
Transport can negatively affect biodiversity in a variety of ways. The design and use of road, rail and waterborne transport infrastructure alters the quality and connectivity of habitats and can create physical barriers to the movement of plants and animals between habitat areas. Species can be injured or killed by vehicles, become isolated by habitat fragmentation, or exhibit behavioural changes that put their survival at risk, such as feeding on or near roads or changes in migratory behaviour. The development and use of transport infrastructure can also increase pollution levels in surrounding habitats and serve as a vector for the spread of non-native and invasive species. The chapter highlights a number of policies that have been introduced establishing procedures and obligations to minimise such consequences. However, gaps remain concerning their implementation in practical terms.
The report concludes that more ambitious measures and improved implementation are necessary in the transport sector to meet existing policy goals.