News 10 Jul 2020

A blueprint for greater focus on rail in the quest for green mobility

European transport must be carbon-neutral at the latest by 2050, with clear mid-term milestones set for 2030 and 2040. This is the objective proposed by the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure companies (CER) in its input (A railway-based mobility blueprint) to the upcoming EU Strategy on Sustainable and Smart Mobility. The guiding paper was formally endorsed by Europe’s leading railway CEOs, forming the CER Management Committee, on 10 July.

The paper identifies four general enablers for a carbon-neutral transport sector with rail at its centre :

  • 1. agreement on GHG emission reduction milestones for transport: 25% by 2030, 65% by 2040 and 100% by 2050 (on 1990 levels);
  • 2. the application of marginal social-cost pricing for all transport modes, to implement the user-pays & polluter-pays principles;
  • 3. the creation of a pan-European deployment plan for rail freight digitalisation, to achieve a rail freight modal share of 30% by 2030;
  • 4. policies in support of an enhanced digitalised purchasing and travel experience accessible to all passengers in both national and international rail services, to achieve a rail passenger modal share of 15% by 2030 and 20% by 2050.

In addition, the European rail freight sector has committed itself to the goal of 30% rail modal share by 2030, in order to neutralize the negative impact of the expected strong growth of the land-based transport market on environment and society.

CER Chair Andreas Matthä (CEO of ÖBB) said: “The European Green Deal is important for all of us, and the railway sector is committed to climate protection. Individual transport must be shifted to rail. However, the key to climate protection lies above all in freight transport. Freight must be shifted significantly from road to rail in the future - and for this we need more Europe.

CER Executive Director Libor Lochman said: “I am pleased that we managed to agree on a comprehensive input for the upcoming EU Strategy for Sustainable and Smart Mobility. This document will be of pivotal importance as a guide towards more sustainable mobility in Europe. EU heads of State should also step up and show similar ambition regarding the Multiannual Financial Framework - investments must be re-oriented towards sustainable sectors and projects for a green recovery.