On 7 May, Noah’s journey passed through Italy and promoted the messages and commitment of Rail Freight Forward, the coalition of rail freight companies and associations from across Europe committed to help save up to 290 million tonnes of CO2 emissions over the next decade.
The Italian event is another landmark in Noah’s journey which started in Katowice on 14 December 2018 in the context of the World Climate Conference. Since then, Noah has travelled across Europe and called at Vienna, Paris, Berlin and Brussels. Further stops are planned in Luxemburg and Munich and maybe more.
As pointed out by Dott. Gianluigi Castelli, President of FS Italiane and UIC Chairman, this unique initiative demonstrates concretely the ambition of the sector to boost modal shift and increase rail’s market share towards an ambitious target of 30% by 2030. It is “a challenge which requires the full support of policy makers at national and supra national levels. It may also mean taking drastic measures, in particular in the field of interoperability improvement.”
In the presence of Sergio Costa, Environment Minister, Gian Paolo Gotelli, CEO Mercitalia Rail, explained that the ambition of the Rail Freight Forward Coalition to make rail the backbone of mobility for a sustainable society relied on three pillars: the continuous improvement of rail products, the need to have sufficient and easy to use infrastructure, the need to have adequate framework conditions. He then explained the measures already taken by Mercitalia and FS Group in that context.
Sandra Géhénot, as representative of UIC, explained how this initiative came about and how it has become the cornerstone for a concrete freight work programme of operational and digital topics to progress collectively, as a sector, within a short term horizon. In addition UIC, with its consultative status to the UN High Level Group on Sustainable Mobility, actively supports this message at global level as well.
Minister Costa concluded that fighting climate change means fostering and encouraging modal shift towards rail and being committed to take this message to the next G20 in Japan at the end of June.