Sustainability performance assessment of the transport sector in European countries
Keywords:Composite indicator, sustainable development, data envelopment analysis, benefit of the doubt
The transport sector plays a fundamental role in the European Union economy and its efficiency is fundamental to strengthen the region's environmental and economic performance. Unfortunately, the sector still remains heavily dependent on oil resources and is responsible for a large part of the air pollution. The European Union has been promoting various initiatives towards sustainable transport development by setting targets in the sector such as the ones proposed in the 2011 White Paper on transport. Under this context, this study aims at evaluating the environmental performance of the transport sector in 28 European Union countries, from 2015 to 2018, towards the policy agenda established in the strategic documents. The assessment of the transport environmental performance is made through the aggregation of seven sub-indicators into a composite indicator using a Data Envelopment Analysis technique. A variant of the Benefit of the Doubt model is used to determine the weights to aggregate the sub-indicators. The results obtained indicate that the European Union countries have been improving their transport environmental performance in the last two years of the time span under analysis, i.e., 2017 and 2018. Regarding the inefficient countries, results suggest they should improve the transport sustainability mainly by drastically reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel-based propulsion, increasing the share of freight transport using rail and inland waterways and also the share of transport energy from renewable sources.
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