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Energy and Climate Package fails to clearly cut transport emissions


18 Dec 2008


Climate & Environment

Brussels, 17 December 2008

The rail sector welcomes the European Parliament’s adoption of the Energy and Climate Package on 17 December as an important step towards the development of a low carbon economy within Europe. However, Europe’s railways are disappointed that the European Union did not take a more coherent and ambitious approach towards cutting transport sector emissions.

The rail sector, represented by the European Rail Infrastructure Managers (EIM) and the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), appreciates that the transport-related elements of the package adopted by the European Parliament and the European Council encourage a shift to greener forms of transport such as rail.

It is disappointing, however, that the use of some of the revenues generated from the auctioning of allowances will not be specifically earmarked for reducing transport emissions as had been originally agreed by the Parliament’s environment committee. A last-minute compromise deal amongst the EU institutions will now allow member states to freely determine the use of these revenues.

The Energy and Climate Package will not make a significant impact on reducing greenhouse gases from transport – the only sector which continues to see rising emissions levels. “If carbon emissions are to be seriously reduced, then there has to be a coherent attempt to tackle emissions from transport,” CER Executive Director Johannes Ludewig emphasised. “Rail is the only transport mode in which emissions have fallen since 1990. Making greater efforts towards modal shift from road to rail should form a key part of reducing emissions in the sector.” The railways therefore call for a level playing field between all modes of transport, including the internalisation of the external costs of all vehicles.

EIM and CER also strongly regret the fact that the railways – despite being one of the most environmentally friendly modes of transport - will not be adequately compensated for the financial impact of the changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). The railways, as an electricity-intensive sector, already indirectly participate in the ETS, as electricity generators pass on the cost of acquiring
carbon allowances. The European Commission’s own impact assessment estimates that the prices will further increase by 10 to 15% as a result of the ETS from 2013. The railways are the only mode of transport affected in this way.
“We welcome the decision to suggest that some of the revenues from the auctioning of carbon allowances under the ETS to greener modes of transport,” EIM Secretary General Michael Robson said.

“We are also pleased that the renewable electricity used by the railways will count towards the target of ensuring that 10% of energy used in transport comes from renewable sources.”

For further information, please contact:
Frank Schneider
CER Press and Communications Manager
phone +32 2 213 08 90
mobile +32 473 32 20 94

Patrick Keating
EIM Public Affairs Manager
phone +32 2 234 37 70
mobile +32 476 66 19 09

To find out more about EIM, visit


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