The long-term strategy outlining how the rail sector can reduce its environmental impact, ‘Moving towards Sustainable Mobility: European Rail Sector Strategy 2030 and beyond’, was approved during the UIC Regional Assembly Europe on 1 December at UIC Headquarters.
The strategy, which is a joint UIC/CER paper, has been developed to provide a medium and long-term plan for the rail sector that fits in with wider environmental and policy goals.
The strategy suggests how the rail sector should be performing in environmental terms in the medium (2030) and long (2050) term in four areas: CO2 reduction, energy efficiency, reduction of exhaust emissions (nitrogen oxides and particulate matter), and noise. It builds on the existing commitment made by CER members in 2008 to reduce CO2 emissions from rail traction by 30%.
The new CO2 reductions target is that by 2030, European Railways are to cut their average specific CO2 emissions caused by railway operations by 50% compared to 1990, the base year.
The strategy is voluntary, and there will be no targets imposed on members. However, members are expected to accept the need to ensure their future plans follow its aims. UIC and CER will also be developing monitoring processes to ensure that progress is being made to achieve the objectives, and that a series of road maps allow for the development of more detailed work and activity plans to ensure progress takes place.