Information published on 3 December 2009 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 163.

More than 400 “EcoPassengers” will travel on the CO2 free “Climate Express” train from Brussels to COP 15 in Copenhagen on tomorrow

  • Sustainable development

Tomorrow morning Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, the initiator of this special train, together with Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme and James P. Leape, Director General of WWF will host more than 400 high level “EcoPassengers”: climate change negotiators, business leaders, environmental activists and journalists on board of the Climate Express train taking them to COP 15 in Copenhagen, which starts on 7 December.

The British Council will be on board with a group of Young Climate Champions coming from the 5 continents.

The aim of the journey is to support and encourage decision-makers to delivering a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the first international effort to cut green house gas emissions. Its purpose is also to send out the message that the next-generation climate agreement and its supporting policies and procedures need to address the transport sector’s growing emissions.

The Climate Expert Team will also join the Climate Express. The team started the symbolic train journey 3 weeks ago in Kyoto – the birthplace of the current Climate Change Protocol.

The journey took them among others along the Trans-Siberian route, organised by Russian Railways (RZD), with Copenhagen as their final destination. The Team will bring a special message from the rail community a global position paper entitled “Keeping Climate Change Solutions on Track: The Role of Rail”.

The Climate Express to Copenhagen will be the platform for a wide range on-board activities including high level discussions aiming to raise awareness of the transport sector’s influence on climate change. The on-board workshops and round-table discussions on the various aspects of sustainable mobility and how it can be addressed in a post-2012 agreement constitute a key opportunity for passengers on board to discuss the crucial climate talks ahead.

The journey will be totally CO2-free journey, as the power drawn for the locomotive is entirely from renewable sources of energy. If the same group of people flew to Copenhagen they would produce 115kg CO2 per person.

Connie Hedegaard, the Minister for the UN Climate Change Conference 2009 in
Copenhagen, and Commissioner for Climate Action, Søren Eriksen, CEO of the Danish Railways (DSB), and Kim Carstensen, Leader, Global Climate Initiative, WWF International will welcome the Climate Express at arrival in Copenhagen.

The Climate Express will be the final leg of the “Train to Copenhagen” project,
organised by UIC with the support of the UN’s Seal the Deal! Campaign and WWF, the global conservation organisation.

Personalities boarding the Climate Express train to Copenhagen on tomorrow will include:
− Mr Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director
− Mr Philippe Henry, Minister of Environment and Mobility
− Ms Evelyne Huytebroeck, Minister of Environment
− Mr Etienne Schouppe, Belgian State Secretary for Mobility
− Mr Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele, IPCC Vice-President
− Mr Matthias Ruete, Director General, Energy and Transport at the European Commission
− Mr James P. Leape, Director General, WWF International
− Mr Yoshio Ishida, UIC Chairman and Vice Chairman of East Japan Railways
− Mr Rüdiger Grube, CEO of Deutsche Bahn
− Mr Guillaume Pepy, CEO of SNCF
− Mr Jannie Haek, CEO SNCB-Holding
− Mr Richard Brown – CEO Eurostar
− Mr Francisco José Cardoso Dos Reis, President of the Board of Directors of the Portuguese Railways (CP)
− Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General
− Mr Johannes Ludewig, CER Executive Director
− Mr Michael Robson, EIM Generalsekretär
− Mr Michael Clausecker, Director-General of UNIFE
− Mr Hans Rat, UITP Secretary General
− Mr. Wang Shi, the Chairman of the Chinese Society of Ecology and Entrepreneurs and Chairman of Vanke corporation
− Ms Franny Armstrong, the producer and director of the film The Age of Stupid
− Mr Luo Hong, the wildlife photographer and UNEP Climate Hero

For more information on the Train to Copenhagen project and the reports of the Climate Expert Travel Team’s journey from Kyoto to Brussels please visit :
www.traintocopenhagen.org