Monday 11 January 2010
Sustainable Development

Switzerland. The SBB “Climate Express” Berne-Copenhagen highlights rail advantages for a sustainable transport system. The Swiss initiative successfully contributes to the worldwide UIC campaign “Train to Copenhagen”

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The “Climate Express” operated by Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) in cooperation with City Night Line – the night train service of Deutsche Bahn – between Berne and Copenhagen on 16-17 December was a success. The purpose of this campaign was to bring Mr. Moritz Leuenbeger, Head of the Swiss delegation, together with around 90 guests representing government and parliament, international organisations and NGOs, railways and the media, from Berne to the Copenhagen climate change conference, and to use this opportunity to highlight the advantages of rail transport to serve a genuine CO2 emissions reduction policy. The SBB delegation was led by the Executive Director General Mr. Andreas Meyer and the President of the Board Mr. Ulrich Gygi, and included Nicolas Perrin, CEO SBB Cargo and Remy Chrétien, Head of the SBB Environment Centre. Paul Véron, Director of Communications and Henning Schwarz, Coordinator for Sustainable Development, represented UIC onboard.

This special “Climate Express” journey from Berne to Denmark provided an excellent opportunity to hold debates onboard in the form of forums and panels with the participation of politicians, researchers and scientists, railway managers and even school children. The main themes were the current challenges connected to CO2 emissions and global warming, the responsibility of transport activities (25% of global emissions), in particular concerning the automobile, and the solutions that railways are able to offer to contribute to a more sustainable mobility policy (by modal shift or by improving own performances towards environment. During a stop in Burgdorf, a locomotive was inaugurated with the slogan “Le train…un geste pour le climat”. It will run for one year to promote the climate-friendliness of rail transport towards the public.

This successful SBB initiative was part of a worldwide campaign coordinated by UIC in close cooperation with its members to promote rail sustainability on the occasion of the United Nations Climate Change conference (see also previous “UIC e-News” information on the Brussels-Copenhagen “Climate Express” and the special Russian train from Vladivostock to Moscow).

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