Information published on 29 October 2009 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 158.

UIC Sustainability Platform: 8th meeting held in Paris

  • Environment
  • Sustainable development

On October 22nd the UIC Environment, Energy and Sustainability (EES) Platform held its 8th meeting at UIC Headquarters in Paris. The meeting was chaired by Joachim Kettner, Deutsche Bahn AG, who emphasised in his opening speech the importance of Environment and Sustainability for the business development and political support of railways especially in times of economic recession.

News from Brussels
CER deputy director Libor Lochman informed the meeting that there was increasing pressure within the EU for stronger action to reduce CO2 emissions from transport. The newly re-elected President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, had confirmed that more efforts to reduce CO2 emissions would be a priority of the new Commission, while the current transport commissioner, Antonio Tajani, told the informal meeting of transport ministers in Sweden that making European transport more sustainable had to be a priority for the post-2010 period.

EES Strategy 2030/2050
Fully in line with the importance that is given to the CO2 emissions of transport on the political level Mads Bergendorff, Macroplan Denmark, presented the new draft version of the EES Strategy 2030/2050 on behalf of UIC. The document proposes a 50% cut in CO2 emissions until 2030 and even carbon free railway transport until 2050 is discussed. A consolidated version of the document will be sent to the members of the EES Platform by the end of the year. The approval of the EES Strategy is now planned for March 2010. The scope of the current version of the strategy focuses on Europe.

Latest CO2 reduction figures
Henning Schwarz, Coordinator Sustainable Development UIC reported latest figures from the UIC Energy and CO2 database, which show that the European Rail sector is on track with the commitment to reduce its CO2 emissions by 30% until 2030. The specific CO2 emissions from European railway companies have fallen by 11% for passenger emissions and 33% for freight traffic over the 1990-2007 period. Data was received from 26 railway companies, covering more than 95% of passenger traffic and more than 76% of freight traffic in Europe.

The sector wide CO2 reduction commitment was agreed on the CER General Assembly in Brussels in May 2008 and defines a reduction of 30% CO2 per passenger kilometre or tonne kilometre from rail traction in Europe over the period 1990 to 2020.

Train to Copenhagen Campaign
The Platform members were updated on the “Train to Copenhagen” communication campaign towards the United Nations climate change conference from 7-18 December 2009 in Copenhagen (COP 15) by Margrethe Sagevik, Senior Adviser Sustainable Development UIC. She presented the different elements of the campaign, including the special train from Brussels to Copenhagen on 5th of December, the Global Position Paper and the Railway Message towards COP 15, which will be presented and signed on the UIC Asia Environment Conference on 5. and 6. November in Kyoto. For further information please visit the official Train to Copenhagen website at www.traintocopenhagen.org

EES Budget 2010
Henning Schwarz together with Marie-Eve Lim, Director of Finance UIC, presented the proposed budget of the EES Platform for next year. The proposed budget 2010 was cut by 26% compared to last year to a total of 1,18 Mio. Euro. Henning Schwarz emphasized that the EES Platform responsibly took into account the current economic situation of the members and focuses on the most important activities in 2010.

Reports from the EES Expert Networks
The network speakers presented the ongoing activities and the foreseen 2010 projects.

The working bodies of the Platform are the following 5 Expert Networks:
• Sustainable Mobility (speaker Margrethe Sagevik, UIC)
• Noise reduction (speaker Matthias Mather, DB)
• Emissions reduction (speaker Willy Bontinck, SNCB)
• Polluted soils and remediation (speaker Harold Resida, NS)
• Energy Efficiency & CO2 (speaker Henning Schwarz, UIC)

For details please see Network presentations at http://www.uic.org/spip.php?article1533

Highlights of the Day
Two highlights of the day were the presentations of Mr. Masanori Shimozaki from the Paris Office of the Japan Railways Group, who presented Environmental Measures and strategies of JR East and JR West and the presentation on the results of the project “Energy saving potential for parked trains” by Bryan Donnelly, ATOC.

Forthcoming events of the EES Platform

For more information and all presentations see UIC website (www.uic.org) or contact Henning Schwarz, Coordinator Sustainable Development: schwarz@uic.org