News 11 Dec 2019

A shift to rail is vital for delivering the European Green Deal

The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) welcomes the European Green Deal, which recognises the role of rail in delivering the target of reducing transport greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2050. However, this will require the European Parliament and Member States to match the Commission’s ambitions.

Shifting a substantial part of inland freight away from road will require a step change in investments in rail infrastructure capacity, both extending the network and deploying digital traffic management technologies such as ERTMS. Improved public transport will be fundamental to address the decarbonisation of cities. Effective transport pricing and affordable railways are the only way forward to improve traffic patterns and foster sustainable modal choices of passengers and logistics operators: the principles of 'user pays' and 'polluter pays', which rail complies with better than any other motorised transport mode in Europe, are not to be given up under any circumstances.

Railways also welcome the intention of the Commission to continue its work on sustainable finance and strengthening the foundations for sustainable investments, and to support research and innovation in clean transport; they look forward to exchanging further on the strategy for sustainable and smart mobility.

CER Executive Director Libor Lochman said: "The European Green Deal is an initiative of unprecedented ambition in any other continent of the globe: with it, the von der Leyen Commission proves its firmest commitment to change pace in the run towards full decarbonisation. CER will work with Vice-President Timmermans, Commissioner Vălean and all other EU policymakers on the journey to provide all Europeans with more accessible and cleaner transport."  

Read our paper Rail’s priorities for EU the Green Deal and have a look at our fact sheet and position paper on the Commission's recent study on transport cost internalisation.