28 Nov 2018

The crucial role of rail in the decarbonisation plans of the EU

The European Commission published yesterday its Communication ‘’A clean planet for all – A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy’ setting the long-term strategy for greenhouse gas emissions reduction. The Communication, presented ahead of the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties, taking place in Katowice in December 2018, outlines the way forward for the EU climate, energy and transport policies and entails the EU strategy in line with the Paris Agreement that will bring forward a vision of a low carbon economy protecting the planet and its people.

CER– the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies, EIM – the Association representing rail infrastructure managers in Europe and UNIFE representing the European Rail supply Industry welcome the Commission’s initiative reiterating Europe's commitment to be the global leader in worldwide climate action and acknowledge that it is crucial for policymakers to seize the opportunity to accelerate decarbonisation of the transport sector.

Rail is the  most sustainable and energy-efficient low-emission transport mode and it plays a crucial role in the decarbonisation of the transport sector.. Rail is evolving as the backbone of a low-carbon, multimodal transport system in Europe and it is therefore the solution to address the current emissions gap compared to the ambition for 60% GHG reduction target by 2050 for transport, as set in the 2011 Transport White Paper.

CER, EIM and UNIFE urge the decision-makers to increase the modal share of low-emission transport modes and support the further electrification of the rail network. In addition, the support for research and innovation in the rail sector shall be continued and intensified with the extension of the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking programme under the Horizon Europe Framework Programme 2021-2027.

The three Associations wish to present their joint Position Paper on the long-term strategy for greenhouse gases emissions reduction, which aims at highlighting the role of rail transport as a whole contributing decisively in the future crucial political discussions and decisions.

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