Themes: Environment
11. November 2016

Climate Action Plan: CO2 reduction targets of 40 percent for transport sector by 2030

Pro-Rail Alliance welcomes agreement / Impetus for new policies on modal shift?

The federal government’s Climate Protection Plan 2050 finally delivers concrete targets for reducing CO2 emissions from the transport sector.
The federal government’s Climate Action Plan 2050 finally delivers concrete targets for reducing CO2 emissions from the transport sector. Modal shift to the railways must now be speeded up. Federal environment minister Barbara Hendricks is also aware of the potential for climate protection offered by the railways.

Berlin November 11, 2016. The German Pro-Rail Alliance has welcomed the targets for the transport sector in the federal government’s Climate Action Plan 2050, which was agreed on today. “In spite of resistance from the automotive lobby, the Climate Action Plan 2050 sets ambitious CO2 reduction targets for the transport sector,” praised the non-profit transport alliance on Friday in Berlin. In the current version of the plan, the transport sector as a whole will be obliged to reduce its CO2 emissions by at least 40 percent.  “For the last ten years we have been calling for much tighter scrutiny of the transport sector,” said the managing director of the Pro-Rail Alliance, Dirk Flege. “Since 1990, all other sectors of the economy have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions, some of them considerably. Only transport has not made any progress. Targets for the climate’s number one worry are long overdue.”

Climate Action Plan 2050: Modal shift in transport must be speeded up

The Pro-Rail Alliance is hoping that the targets set for each sector in the Climate Action Plan 2050 will be an impetus for new transport policies. “Instead of the outmoded way of defining transport in terms of individual categories such as ‘rail’, ‘road’ and so on, pressure from climate policies will hopefully lead to a more holistic view and greater momentum for modal shift,” said Flege. “Only by being resolute about shifting more transport onto the railways will we really be able to meet the ambitious climate protection targets for the transport sector.”

The policy of ring-fencing funding, for example where road transport pays for road infrastructure, is out of date. “The federal government must now come up with unified, sustainable transport policies,” said the Pro-Rail Alliance manager. Above all, Germany needs more electric transport, not only on the roads but also on the railways. “Currently, only 60 percent of the German rail network is electrified. The government should set a target of 70 percent within the next decade.” The share of renewable energy in rail traction current in 2015 was around 42 percent.

Climate Action Plan 2050: Statement by Dirk Flege

“Targets for the climate’s number one worry are long overdue. The federal government must now come up with unified, sustainable transport policies. By shifting more transport onto the railways we will be able to rapidly reduce CO2 emissions.”

Germany's Climate Protection Plan: We have to start reducing CO2 now

Info-Video: Why the railways are so climate friendly (German, 4:18 mins)

In a comparison of motorized modes of transport, the railways are the most environmentally friendly. The answers to why that is can be found in our Info-Video.

Additional information

Overview: The railway’s environmental record (German)