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Publication date: 6 December 2011
Author: Nicolas Petrovic, CEO, Eurostar

Creating a fair and open rail market to compete with road and aviation is key

Over the coming weeks and months, EU policy-makers will lock horns in earnest over new rules to ensure fair and open competition in the European rail market, both freight and passenger. On economic grounds alone it is critical that the right rules are in place but it is equally important from an environmental standpoint.

The EU is pursuing ambitious reductions in CO2 and the right conditions for growth in international rail travel could encourage many more people to choose the train over less carbon efficient options such as the car or plane.

Transport accounts for almost a quarter of total EU greenhouse gas emissions, yet it is the only sector where emissions continue to rise – an increase of 36% since 1990. If Europe is serious about reversing this trend and meeting its global environmental commitments, it needs to get its transport pricing and infrastructure investment policy right.

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