‘Public transport must have a central place in post-coronavirus climate action’

Rail and public transport bodies have called on governments to support new sustainable mobility infrastructure projects to help drive down emissions

Festival Net Zero 2021

Public transport must have a central place in post-coronavirus climate action.

That’s the suggestion from the International Union of Railways (UIC), which has issued a joint statement with the Association of the European Rail Industry (UNIFE) and the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) in a bid to support green mobility.

It says European rail accounts for 7.6% of passenger and 17.6% of freight transport, but only creates 0.5% of its greenhouse (GHG) emissions.

It notes urban rail, with its 0.12kWh of energy demand per passenger-kilometre travelled, is seven times more energy-efficient than private cars in cities.

The rail and public transport bodies have called on policymakers and the European Union for more investments in infrastructure to handle ever-increasing mobility demands and suggest a future sustainable mobility pattern should be based on new technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and new telecommunications.

François Davenne, UIC Director General, said: “We all know that railway and public transport are the keys for a sustainable future, provided that they are able to implement seamless multimodal mobility networks.”

Mohamed Mezghani, UITP Secretary General, added: Public transport and the environment are inextricably linked and with a strong local network, emissions are lowered and our cities become healthier and more sustainable.”

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