Thursday 20 April 2023

UIC participated in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe 70th Commission session

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The discussions were focused on Digital and Green Transformations for Sustainable Development in the Region of the Economic Commission for Europe.
François DAVENNE took part in the panel “Digitalization as enabler for climate action and decarbonization”, together with Ms. Els De Wit, Chair, ITC Working Party on Transport Trends and Economics, Mr. Jim Robb, Chair of the Group of Experts on Cleaner Electricity Systems, Mr. Robert Thaler, Pan-European Programme on Transport, Health and Environment (THE PEP).

François Davenne particularly insisted on the fact that a massive reduction of CO2 emission is necessary that will necessitate, as explained in the last IPCC report to initiate radical and fast measures. Concerning transport, a massive modal shift to rail and public transport is necessary.

Quote of André Gorz in “Social ideology of the car” could be used: “The deep vice of cars is that they are like castles or villas on the French riviera: luxury goods invented for the exclusive pleasure of a minority of very rich people and that nothing in their conception and nature was intended for the people”.

Concerning railway, a 10% modal shift implied a 6% to 8% reduction of the emission depending on the energy mix. That is why a new transport paradigm must be created around existing frugal mode of transport, with a degree of integration and multimodality that is has still to be delivered.

Good news is that technologies are at hand for delivering a transport paradigm where rail could become the backbone of mobility together with public transport. For instance, integrated ticketing, advanced Telecom (UIC FRMCS) and autonomous driving are about to be available.

Massive investment, in particular in global south cities (more than 70% of the emission are coming from urban area) are then mandatory to achieve a renewed transport paradigm that is not only a necessity but a desirable option.

With the initiative “more train” and participation the the Lotus and Surge initiative UIC intends to demonstrate the Railways commitment and their readiness to propose mature digital solutions.

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