With the European Union focusing more on confronting climate change, Jonathan Cutuli, Public Affairs Manager at UNIFE, explains the key role that alternative fuels can play for the rail sector in lowering GHG emissions and how investment is key to producing greener results.
Mounting efforts to confront climate change have become one of the main challenges of the European Union (EU) in the recent years. With the 2019 European Green Deal1, European institutions officially committed themselves to making Europe the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050. This objective has dictated the EU framework toward achieving net zero emissions by moving towards a low-carbon economy while also keeping high efficiency standards. All the key economic sectors and industries have been asked to massively contribute to the reduction of their carbon footprint. To address the transport sector’s shortcomings in this area, the EU launched the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy2 in 2020 to spur on a 90 per cent reduction in transport-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, followed by the ambitious Fit for 55 package3 of legislative proposals in July 2021. The latter aims to revise the EU’s entire climate and energy framework to lower GHG emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030.
The transport sector accounts for approximately 25 per cent4 of the EU’s GHG emissions, emitting more pollutants than any other sector except for energy production. Yet, rail stands out as the mobility exception; it is the greenest mode of mass transportation, responsible for less than 0.4 per cent5 of transport related GHG emissions and has managed to steadily improve its energy efficiency since the 1990s.
However, only 54 per cent6 of the current European rail network is electrified as of today, meaning that a significant number of diesel trains/locomotives are still in service. The 2020 World Rail Market Study (WRMS)7 found that diesel rolling stock’s market share currently accounts for 17 per cent of passenger multiple cars (roughly 16.091 multiple units out of 91.764) and 27 per cent of passenger locomotives (approximately 1.853 units out of 6.880). Diesel freight locomotives represents an even larger share (40 per cent) due to the low electrified tracks’ share (roughly 5.448 units out of 13.427).
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Advertising & Targeting".
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent WordPress Plugin. The cookie is used to remember the user consent for the cookies under the category "Analytics".
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent WordPress Plugin. The cookie is used to remember the user consent for the cookies under the category "Performance".
This cookie is native to PHP applications. The cookie is used to store and identify a users' unique session ID for the purpose of managing user session on the website. The cookie is a session cookies and is deleted when all the browser windows are closed.
This session cookie is served by our membership/subscription system and controls whether you are able to see content which is only available to logged in users.
Performance cookies are includes cookies that deliver enhanced functionalities of the website, such as caching. These cookies do not store any personal information.
This cookie is set by Cloudflare content delivery network and, in conjunction with the cookie 'cf_use_ob', is used to determine whether it should continue serving “Always Online” until the cookie expires.
This cookie is set by Cloudflare content delivery network and is used to determine whether it should continue serving “Always Online” until the cookie expires.
This session cookie is served by our membership/subscription system and controls which types of content you are able to access.
This cookie is set by Litespeed Server and allows the server to store settings to help improve performance of the site.
This cookie is served by the Swapcard app/website to detect and store the user’s language.
This cookie is set by OneSignal push notifications and is used for storing user preferences in connection with their notification permission status.
This cookie is set by Youtube and is used to track the views of embedded videos.
Analytics cookies collect information about your use of the content, and in combination with previously collected information, are used to measure, understand, and report on your usage of this website.
This cookie is set by LinkedIn. The purpose of the cookie is to enable LinkedIn functionalities on the page.
This cookie is set by YouTube and registers a unique ID for tracking users based on their geographical location
This cookie is set by LinkedIn and is used to store the language preferences of a user to serve up content in that stored language the next time user visit the website.
This cookie is set by LinkedIn and used for routing.
This cookie is set by LinkedIn share Buttons and ad tags.
This cookie is served by the Swapcard event app/website and uniquely identifies the user’s session.
This cookie is served by the Swapcard app/website and uniquely identifies the user.
We embed videos from our official Vimeo channel. When you press play, Vimeo will drop third party cookies to enable the video to play and to see how long a viewer has watched the video. This cookie does not track individuals.
This cookie is set by Spotler and tracks an anonymous visitor ID.
This cookie is set by Spotler and enables it to track the Load Balance Session Queue.
This cookie is set by Spotler to track the Internet Information Services (IIS) session state.
This cookie is set by Spotler and stores the UTM values for the session. UTM values are specific text strings that are appended to URLs that allow Communigator to track the URLs and the UTM values when they get clicked on.
This cookie is set by Google Analytics and is used to calculate visitor, session, campaign data and keep track of site usage for the site's analytics report. It stores information anonymously and assign a randomly generated number to identify unique visitors.
This cookies is set by Google Universal Analytics to throttle the request rate to limit the collection of data on high traffic sites.
This cookie is set by Google Analytics and is used to store information of how visitors use a website and helps in creating an analytics report of how the website is doing. The data collected including the number visitors, the source where they have come from, and the pages visited in an anonymous form.
Advertising and targeting cookies help us provide our visitors with relevant ads and marketing campaigns.
This cookie is set by Advanced Ads and measures the browser width.
This cookie is set by Advanced Ads and measures the number of previous page impressions.
This cookie is set by Advanced Ads and sets geo-location, user role and user capabilities. It is used by cache busting in Advanced Ads Pro when the appropriate visitor conditions are used.
This cookie is set by Advanced Ads and sets the referrer URL.
This cookie is a browser ID cookie set by LinkedIn share Buttons and ad tags.
This cookie is set by Google DoubleClick and stores information about how the user uses the website and any other advertisement before visiting the website. This is used to present users with ads that are relevant to them according to the user profile.
This cookie is set by LinkedIn and is used for tracking.
This cookie is set by Linkedin and is used to track visitors on multiple websites, in order to present relevant advertisement based on the visitor's preferences.
This cookie is set by YouTube. Used to track the information of the embedded YouTube videos on a website.