Industry calls on EU Commission to promote rail as a pillar of sustainable mobility
6 June 2016 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review
CER (Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies) and UNIFE (European Rail Industry Association) have issued a joint paper highlighting rail as the backbone of sustainable mobility and key to transport decarbonisation.
In a joint position paper published last week, CER and UNIFE call on the Commissioners responsible for the Energy Union, Climate Action & Energy, and Transport, Vice-President Šefčovič, Commissioner Cañete and Commissioner Bulc, to promote rail as the cornerstone of sustainable mobility and its interconnectivity with other low-carbon modes, in the upcoming Communication on transport decarbonisation.
The organisations have confirmed their support for the objectives set in the Transport White Paper of 2011, notably the 60 percent reduction target for transport emissions by 2050 compared to 1990 levels and suggests adding a binding target for 2030. These targets are all the more relevant in light of the ambitious worldwide climate objectives set during the COP21 conference last year in Paris.
Shifting more passengers and goods to rail will lead to transport decarbonisation
Moreover, CER and UNIFE invite policymakers to pursue a win-win strategy by linking climate, energy and transport policies: ‘shifting more passengers and goods to rail will lead to transport decarbonisation as well as increased energy security’.
“The transport sector has an untapped potential to achieve energy savings and emission reductions”
CER Executive Director Libor Lochman said: “Europe must reduce its dependency on imported fossil fuels and move towards a low-carbon economy with high energy efficiency. The transport sector has an untapped potential to achieve energy savings and emission reductions. Rail, as a low-oil and low-carbon transport mode, is central to deliver massive cuts in transport emissions, reduce oil dependency and mitigate congestion in cities.”
“A modal shift to rail as the most sustainable mode of transport should be at the backbone of any transport sector strategy”
UNIFE Director General Philippe Citroën commented: “The rail industry fully supports the European Commission’s objective of reducing transport emissions and looks forward to ambitious targets and policy measures in the upcoming Communication. A modal shift to rail as the most sustainable mode of transport should be at the backbone of any transport sector strategy to reduce CO2 emissions.”
The CER and UNIFE joint paper entitled ‘Rail as a key to decarbonising transport’ can be downloaded here.