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EU figures show transport sector is biggest climate killer

Press release 04.12.2009
Topic: Environment
 

EU figures show transport sector is biggest climate killer

CO2 targets will be missed without policy changes

smoking exhaust pipe

©iStockphoto.com/matteo69

Berlin. At the start of the UN conference on climate change in Copenhagen, the German Pro-Rail Alliance has called on the federal government to finally come up with clear targets for the transport sector. According to as yet unpublished EU Commission figures, emissions of CO2 from transport increased by 35.6 percent between 1990 and 2007. In contrast, there were decreases in all other sectors: the energy sector (minus 4.4 percent), households (minus 17.3 percent) and industry (minus 17.6 percent) all managed to reduce their emissions considerably. “We can no longer afford to take a business as usual attitude,” said Dirk Flege, managing director of the Pro-Rail Alliance, on Friday in Berlin. “Unfortunately, our demands are in no way trivial. Politicians are just sitting out the issue and hoping that the alarmists will lose their voices,” criticised Flege.

The latest calculations by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) show that the German transport sector must save around 40 million tonnes of CO2 compared with 2005 in order to meet total national reduction targets. At the presentation of its freight transport strategy at the beginning of the week, UBA president Jochen Flasbarth called on the government use this figure as a benchmark for future policy. “If the transport sector makes less of a contribution we need new suggestions on the table about which other sectors can contribute more,” said Flasbarth.

 

Source: Pro-Rail Alliance, 4.12.2009. Calculations made on the basis of as yet unpublished European Commission figures. Transport includes international shipping and aviation. Key: Transport – Energy sector – Households – Industry

 

The Pro-Rail Alliance criticised the fact that the new transport minister, Peter Ramsauer from the Bavarian CSU, did not yet have railway policy on his radar. Particularly when a modal shift in transport could be an important tool in getting to grips with rapidly rising emissions, especially in times of economic growth. Flege explained that freight trains emit only a quarter of the CO2 that trucks do, measured per tonne and kilometre. For passenger transport, CO2 emissions are halved when people switch from cars to trains. In view of the EU’s alarming figures, Flege called on the federal government to actively lobby Brussels for compulsory CO2 reduction targets for the whole transport sector of at least 20 percent by 2020.

 

Allianz pro Schiene is the German alliance for the promotion of environmentally friendly and safe rail transport. It unites 16 non-profit organisations: the environmental organisations BUND, NABU, Deutsche Umwelthilfe and NaturFreunde Deutschlands; the consumer groups Pro Bahn, DBV and VCD; the automobile clubs ACE and ACV; the three rail unions TRANSNET, GDBA and GDL as well as the rail organisations BDEF, BF Bahnen, VBB and VDEI. Its member associations represent more than 2 million individual members. Allianz pro Schiene is supported by 93 companies operating in the rail sector.

 

Dr. Barbara Mauersberg
Press Officer

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