Wednesday 29 November 2023

UIC Delegation heads to COP28 to advocate for the rail sector’s role in climate action

Share this article

The 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) will start on 30 November in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. As an official observer organisation within the UNFCCC, UIC has the opportunity to engage with the process and insert the voice of railways into the dialogue. A high-profile delegation is set to attend and highlight the rail sector’s substantial contribution to climate change mitigation and sustainable development.

The UIC delegation’s primary goal is to underscore the role of rail in addressing climate change and improving sustainability. The key messages to be brought forward by the delegation will include:

1. Policy - including rail in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs): in a study prepared by the UIC Sustainability Unit, findings show that, currently, only 25% of NDCs feature railways, and only 10% have specific targets for rail. As countries prepare for the next cycle of NDCs, due in 2025, the study provides analysis and recommendations on how to expand targets for rail in NDCs. The study will be published on Friday, 1 December, and will be available here.

2. Finance: UIC has worked together with Alstom, the University of Birmingham, and Roland Berger, with a special contribution from the World Bank, on a white paper and comprehensive study entitled “Bridging the rail finance gap: challenges and opportunities in low and lower-middle income countries”. If transport emissions in low and lower-middle income countries grow at the same rate as high-income countries, global emissions could increase by 16%. Rail investment can help LICs and LMICs to achieve climate goals by quadrupling the modal share of rail to 8%, avoiding a total of 1.8Gt of carbon emissions by 2050. For more information, the full study is available here

3. Fossil-fuel-free transport: Alongside other stakeholders, UIC initiated a call-to-action that asks “governments; climate, development, and private funders; philanthropic institutions; businesses; academic institutions and civil society to take bold and urgent action” to double the share of energy efficient and fossil-free forms of land transport for people and goods by 2030, by focusing on shifts to public transport, walking, cycling and rail freight, as well as electric vehicles and railways. More information on the call-to-action can be found here.

The delegation will be speaking at different key fringe conferences and across the COP28 Blue Zone, including the SDG Pavilion, World Bank Group Pavilion, Trade House Pavilion (UNCTAD, ICC, ITC and WTO), as well as at an official side event and in the country pavilion events. To see the full programme of events and to follow them online, please visit the “Rail at COP28” page on the UIC website at

For further information please contact Lucie Anderton at

or Joo Ha at

3 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5