Cars favourite transport means by far in region
Two-thirds of all journeys made in Luxembourg and neighbouring France and Belgium take place in cars, underscoring the enormity of the task the countries face as they try to avert climate change by cutting carbon emissions.
Transport in the Grand Duchy accounts to close for two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions, given that it has one of the highest rates of car ownership in the EU and because of low taxes on fuel, which is pulling in truck drivers who fill up their tanks cheaply at one of the country's many petrol stations.
With just 600,000 residents, Luxembourg relies heavily on foreign workers, attracting around 200,000 cross-border workers each day from Belgium, France and Germany, according to the statistics office Statec.
Close to one third of all trips recorded in the survey by the LISER research institute published on Monday were due to work, yet public transport was still used more widely higher in Luxembourg than in its neighbours.
The highest car use was in the bordering Belgian region at 77% of all trips, LISER said, partly because of the more rural character of the region. For trips above above 5km, public transport accounted for 15% of journeys in Luxembourg, ahead of France and Belgium where it was only 7%.
Nevertheless, the European Court of Auditors on Monday said Luxembourg was facing an uphill struggle to reach climate targets it has agreed with Brussels. Implementing the national plan would require an investment of almost €8 billion, the ECA said, adding that the current strategy “omits … greenhouse gas-relevant reduction measures such as investments in public transport”.
The figures in the LISER study date from the decade before 2020, when Luxembourg made all public transport free inside its territory. During the pandemic, rail traffic in Luxembourg was among the least affected in the EU, the bloc's statistic office said this month.
The high use of buses in Luxembourg at 14% also "contrasts sharply with that observed in France and Belgium," where the use is less than half that, the study representing 1.7 million residents in the wider region said.
Close to one in two people aged between 18 and 24 years either takes the bus or walks for journeys, or uses a combination. Among those aged between 50 and 64 years, two-thirds resorted to the car for their trips.