Investing in rail infrastructure to achieve Austria’s climate goals
Leonore Gewessler, Austria’s Federal Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, highlights the importance of rail in driving Austria’s commitment to becoming climate-neutral.
Under the European Green Deal, Europe is set to be climate-neutral by 2050; Austria wants to achieve this as early as 2040. The Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) is already aiming to be climate neutral by 2030. The comparison shows: in Austria, a car trip causes 27 times more emissions than a journey by rail. For trucks, the ratio is 40:1 and, for air traffic, 51:1.
On a global scale, Austria is in the top 10 when it comes to train users. The modernisation and expansion of rail infrastructure has been on a constant high level for many years in order to make it even more potent. For the current investment period (2021-2026), a total of €17.5 billion is budgeted. This is the largest annual investment in rail infrastructure that Austria has ever seen. ÖBB will become even more attractive for commuters and travellers, and even more climate friendly, by expanding and electrifying rail routes, modernising stations and improving safety technology and traffic control systems.