News 14 Jul 2021

Already Green Deal compliant – Rail welcomes “Fit for 55” legislative proposals

The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) welcomes the ambitious ‘Fit for 55’ regulatory package, unveiled today (14 July) by the European Commission and looks forward to the timely adoption of the legislative proposals ranging from a revision of the EU Emissions Trading System Directive to directives related to energy policy. The objective is clear; to deliver at least a 55% reduction of EU greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. 

The Fit for 55 regulatory package will be crucial in the transition to sustainable mobility in Europe. Until now the EU has failed to develop effective policies towards transport and rail is needed to reverse the trend of rising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Rail transport is already Green Deal compliant from the 2030 perspective. It is, responsible for just 0,4% of transport-caused CO2 emissions, despite having a share of 8% of passenger transport and 19% of freight transport across Europe. 

For that reason, a modal shift from carbon-intensive modes to rail is the most effective way to decarbonise transport in large parts of the Union's territory, as high-lighted in the recent Council Conclusions adopted by EU Transport Ministers in June. 

Today’s proposals provide a basis for implementing EU-wide carbon pricing for transport. Accompanied, particularly in the short term, by other policies on improving vehicle efficiency and a switch to low-carbon fuels, the Fit for 55 package will support carbon pricing’s key effects and provide a real chance of closing the GHG emission gap. This is needed all the more in the current context for a green recovery following the COVID19 pandemic.

CER Executive Director Alberto Mazzola said: “European railways fully support the goal to make Europe’s continent a zero emitter by 2050. Railways are already on the path to reduce their emission by 55% by 2030 and to become a zero emitter before 2050. Modal shift will further accelerate the reduction of European emissions. The polluter pays principles will work only with a robust carbon price ap-plied to all transport modes. And revenues from carbon pricing must be allocated to further develop low-carbon transport systems and protect EU citizens from energy poverty. I am happy to announce the CER fact sheet on carbon pricing as a tool for delivering sustainable mobility. CER will now detail its proposals to increase the climate ambition and contribute towards making transport fit for 55”.

The CER Fact Sheet ‘Carbon pricing as a tool for delivering sustainable mobility’ is available on the CER website here