Climate policy, vital factor for the shift of traffic to railway

Apr 24th, 2012 | Category: April 12, Articles, Current issue F&L, Environment

Over the last years, the level of carbon dioxide emissions generated by transport has continued to increase and in order to reach the objective of limiting climate changes to less than 2°C, it is necessary to reduce emissions by 80-95% by 2050. According to the European Commission, while the other economic sectors can achieve important results, the transport sector needs to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by over 60% compared to 1990.

EU has built its climate change position by launching several reports and strategies underlining the goal of stabilising temperature. For 2020, this means reducing emissions by 20-30% and globally by 50% for 2050. In other words, all European countries have to reduce emissions by 20% in all their activities and, compared to the 19-23% share of the transport sector in generating emissions, it is absolutely evident that the sector has to significantly reduce emissions, despite a growing transport demand (according to EU estimates). If the transport sector sets clear criteria in terms of emission cuts, this means that any other economic sector should reduce emissions to zero, although, obviously, the share of reducing greenhouse gas emissions should be divided on sectors, especially the transport sector which has different options for achieving this objective.
That is why, the EU agenda includes railway transport, especially the launching and financing of new projects focusing on eliminating congestion and building railway infrastructure dedicated to freight transport. According to the Fraunhofer Research Institute (Germany), in 2005-2050, the railway transport performance will increase by over 130%. Although railway transport is sometimes considered unattractive, in freight transport, as many European countries prove it, railway transport delivers quality services, offering flexibility to demands and reducing the environmental impact.
“The old transport challenges remained unchanged as new ones appeared, such as increasing competitiveness which represents a pressure in the global economy, traffic congestion and poor accessibility in the transport market, the increasing oil price and the oil dependency in the transport sector, all these representing hindrances in setting an environmentally friendly transport”, declared Vicenc Pedret – Cusco, Economic Advisor, DG MOVE.
New freight and logistics transport concepts to be developed have to focus on railway transport, a transport mode which combines high performance with lower climate impact.

[ by Pamela Luică ]

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