Low-Carbon Sustainable Rail Transport Challenge

General

Name of initiative Low-Carbon Sustainable Rail Transport Challenge
LPAA initiative No
NAZCA Initiative Yes
Website address https://uic.org/sustainable-development/
Related initiatives
Starting year 2014
End year
Secretariat Marie-Luz Philippe, International Railway Association (UIC), 16 rue Jean Rey, 75015 Paris, France, Tel:+33 (0)6 22 78 48 75 , e-mail: philippe@uic.org
Organisational structure Governance is managed by the UIC Environment, Energy and Sustainability Platform. This is a global forum that meets 2 times per year with a budget of approx $1M to cover a program of work including the initiative and other sustainability projects.
Geographical coverage Global
Name of lead organisation Union Internacional de Chemin de fer (UIC)
Type of lead organisation Network/Consortium/Partnership
Location/Nationality of lead organisation France

Description

Description Scientific statements regarding climate change are alarming: even if countries around the globe meet their commitments made at COP 21 in 2015 for 2020, the planet will warm up by 3°C by the end of the century.

In order to stay in line with the Paris Agreement, countries need to multiply their ambitions threefold and carbon neutrality must be reached before 2050. According to the Paris Agreement, countries must renew or revise the climate commitments they submitted in 2015 (Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)) upwards by the end of 2020. They must correspond to the “highest level of ambition possible”. The EU has already undertaken to increase its targets for 2030 and is also working under the European Green Deal to become the world’s first climate neutral continent by 2050. UIC proposes to go one step further and is launching a communication campaign by revising some of the sector’s commitments, both at a European level and at a global level. Railway climate responsibility pledge At the UN Climate Summit in September 2014, UIC presented the Low Carbon Rail Transport Challenge – Technical Report. This initiative sets out a vision for the development of the railway sector at the global level as a sustainable alternative to other modes of transportation that are more carbon intensive, such as road transport and aviation. The challenge includes three sets of voluntary targets: to improve rail efficiency, to decarbonize electricity supply, and to achieve a more sustainable balance of transport modes. At this time, European and global targets were designed to be complementary, whilst reflecting the different realities at European and world level. UIC is committed to reducing specific final energy consumption per traffic unit (50% by 2030 and 60% by 2050) and specific average CO2 emissions per traffic units from train operations (50% by 2030 and 75% by 2050), all relative to a 1990 baseline. In 2014, UIC also launched the Modal Shift Challenge, calling for investments that encourage a move to rail transport away from more carbon intensive transport options. The target was to achieve a 50% increase of the share of rail in passenger transport (in passenger-km) by 2030 compared to 2010, and a 100% increase by 2050. One key component of the Modal Shift Challenge was the Railway Climate Responsibility Pledge, which set out industry actions to complement the targets set for railways world-wide. During the Train to Paris high-level event in November 2015, this pledge was presented to high-level representatives of the United Nations. The Climate Responsibility pledge has been signed by more than 60 UIC members, representing most of global rail activity. In 2019, UIC proposes to go one step further by aligning its 2050 CO2 emissions target to something that is becoming more and more widely shared as a consensual target to achieve the Paris Agreement: carbon neutrality by 2050 (instead of - 75% by 2050).

Objectives To reduce specific final energy consumption from train operations by: 50% reduction by 2030 and 60% reduction by 2050 (relative to a 1990 baseline);

To reduce specific average CO2 emissions from train operations by: 50% reduction by 2030 and 75% reduction by 2050 (relative to a 1990 baseline); Rail share of passenger transport (passenger/km) to achieve a: 50% increase by 2030 and 100% increase, a doubling by 2050 (relative to a 2010 baseline); Rail share of freight land transport (tonne/km) to be: equal with road by 2030 and 50% greater than road by 2050.

Activities Outreach and coalition building:

• Creation of the Climate Responsibility Pledge • Organised the Train to Paris for COP21 and actively participating in Conference of Parties every year. • UIC Sustainability Conference in Vienna in 2016 Capacity building: • Workshops on rail adaption in London, Beijing, and Agadir under the RailAdapt Project • Workshops on energy efficiency in the rail sector every year. Knowledge development: • Developed the Environment Strategy Reporting System (ESRS)

One or two success stories achieved

Monitoring and Impacts

Sustainable Development Impact:
E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-07.png   E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-08.png   E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-09.png   E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-11.png   E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-12.png   E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-13.png   E SDG goals icons-individual-rgb-15.png  
Function of initiative Political dialogue
Activity of initiative Advocacy
Indicators
Goals This challenge sets out ambitious but achievable targets for improvement of rail sector energy efficiency, reductions in GHG emissions and a more sustainable balance between transport modes.

Implementation of the Challenge will result in 50% reduction in CO2 emissions from train operations by 2030, and 75% reduction by 2050, 50% reduction in energy consumption from train operations by 2030, and 60% reduction by 2050, 50% increase in rail’s share of passenger transportation by 2030 and doubling by 2050 (2010 baseline), rail freight activity equal to that of road freight by 2030, and exceeding road freight volumes by 50% by 2050. Energy efficiency road map in development, final version to be published following completion of stakeholder consultation. Annual program of expert network meetings every 3 months supported by a global conference every 2 years.

Comments on indicators and goals Pledge content

According to the Paris Agreement, countries must renew or increase their commitments by the end of 2020, by amending their Nationally Determined Contributions submitted in 2015. They must correspond to the highest level of ambition possible. Therefore, UIC is committed to go further.

The Railway Climate Responsibility Pledge 2019 is an extension to the Pledge signed in 2015.

As an official representative of a UIC Member, I acknowledge the critical importance to take immediate action for a more sustainable future.

I recognise the central role of railways in the fight against climate change.

As a member of the worldwide community of railway operators and infrastructure managers, I commit to take a leading role in the actions to mitigate climate change, by reducing my company’s carbon footprint and supporting a shift towards a more sustainable balance of transport modes.

In order to achieve this, I commit to:

Reduce my company’s specific energy consumption and CO2 emission, and through this contribute to the UIC “Low Carbon Rail Transport Challenge”, presented in 2014 at the United Nations Climate Summit, and to the Rail Climate Responsibility Pledge, signed in 2015; Carbon Neutrality by 2050; Contribute to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

How will goals be achieved
Have you changed or strenghtened your goals
Progress towards the goals In 2019, UIC proposes to go one step further by aligning its 2050 CO2 emissions target to something that is becoming more and more widely shared as a consensual target to achieve the Paris Agreement: carbon neutrality by 2050 (instead of - 75% by 2050).

After COP21 77 CEOs representing the majority of the worlds rail activity have signed the UIC Climate Responsibility Pledge detailing a commitment to 4 actions; 1. to reduce specific energy consumption and CO2 emissions, and through this contribute to the “UIC Low Carbon Rail Transport Challenge” and its global 2030/2050 targets, 2. Stimulate modal shift to rail in national and international markets, 3. actively communicate climate friendly initiatives, 4. report data on specific energy consumption and CO2 emissions to UIC on a regular basis. Improvement of rail energy and CO2 intensity are currently in line with the 2030 and 2050 targets. The latest audited data (2013) indicates that specific energy consumption has reduced by 37% since 1990, and specific CO2 emissions have reduced by 30% in the same period.

How are you tracking progress of your initiative Energy, CO2 and production data are collected directly from railway companies using a dedicated on line website www.co2-data.org which feeds UIC ESRS (Environmental Strategy Reporting System see http://www.uic.org/IMG/pdf/1990-2030_environment_strategy_reporting_system.pdf) and also allows railways to benchmarking their progress. These are reported annually in a joint publication with the International Energy Agency.

Data on modal share are derived from the International Energy Agency database. Energy efficiency road map in development, final version to be published following completion of stakeholder consultation. Annual program of expert network meetings every 3 months supported by a global conference every 2 years.

Available reporting An annual Reporting on the initiative’s progress with third party verification of data is ongoing every year.

Please see targets here: https://uic.org/sustainable-development/energy-and-co2-emissions/railway-climate-responsibility-pledge.

For detailed analysis refer to the UIC-IEA Handbook on Energy & CO2 Emissions, see https://uic.org/sustainable-development/energy-and-co2-emissions/uic-iea-railway-handbook

Participants

Participants Number Names
Members 181  
Companies 181 The UIC challenge is supported by UIC’s +200 member railway companies based in +100 countries worldwide. See Anneex 2 of http://www.un.org/climatechange/summit/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/07/TRANSPORT-Action-Plan-UIC.pdf
Business organisations 0
Research and educational organisations 0
Non-governmental organisations 0
National states 0
Governmental actors 0
Regional / state / county actors 0
City / municipal actors 0
Intergovernmental organisations 0
Financial Institutions 0
Other members 0
Supporting partners 0
Number of members in the years
2018
181
Have only national states as participators No


Theme

Transport Agriculture Forestry Business Financial institutions Buildings Industry Waste Cities and subnational governments Short Term Pollutants International maritime transport Energy Supply Fluorinated gases Energy efficiency Renewable energy Supply chain emission reductions Adaptation Other Resilience Innovation Energy Access and Efficiency Private Finance
Yes No No No No No No No No No No Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No No
Last update: 10 March 2021 11:32:12

Not only have national states as participators