The journey begins – 2021 is the European Year of Rail!

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


Friday, 1 January 2021, marks the beginning of the European Year of Rail. The European Commission initiative will highlight the benefits of rail as a sustainable, smart and safe means of transport. A variety of activities will put rail in the spotlight throughout 2021 across the continent, to encourage the use of rail by both citizens and businesses and to contribute to the EU Green Deal goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2050.

Adina Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport, said: Our future mobility needs to be sustainable, safe, comfortable and affordable. Rail offers all of that and much more! The European Year of Rail gives us the opportunity to re-discover this mode of transport. Through a variety of actions, we will use this occasion to help rail realise its full potential.  I invite all of you to be part of the European Year of Rail.”

The future is rail

In the EU, rail is responsible for less than 0.5% of transport-related greenhouse gas emissions. This makes it one of the most sustainable forms of passenger and freight transport. Among other benefits, rail is also exceptionally safe and it connects people and businesses across the EU via the Trans-European Transport network (TEN-T).

Despite these advantages, only about 7% of passengers and 11% of goods travel by rail. The European Year of Rail will create momentum to help increase rail’s share of passenger and freight transport. This will cut the greenhouse gas emissions and pollution coming from EU transport significantly, making a huge contribution to the EU’s efforts under the European Green Deal.

As the first year of full implementation for the 4th railway package, 2021 will also represent an important leap towards the Single European Railway Area: a more efficient European rail network with seamless mobility across borders.

All eyes on rail in 2021

On 1 January, the European Commission will launch a website providing further information on the initiative, as well as an overview of planned activities. Various events, projects and activities across the EU will highlight the many dimensions of rail – from Europe’s world-leading, innovative rail industry, to rail’s role in European culture and heritage, its importance for connecting regions, people and businesses, its part in sustainable tourism, as well as its involvement in the EU’s relations with neighbouring countries, for example.

The Commission’s legislative agenda will also reflect the European Year of Rail, with proposals on a new rail industrial partnership, better links for rail with other modes of transport, and making freight transport more sustainable overall, as outlined in the Commission’s recently adopted Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy.

Background

The initiative, proposed by the European Commission in March and adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in December 2020, is part of the EU’s efforts under the European Green Deal, the EU’s plan to make its economy sustainable by achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

One of the key elements of the plan is to roll out cleaner and healthier means of transport, as the transport sector is currently responsible for about 25% of the Union’s greenhouse gas emissions. The European Green Deal seeks a 90% reduction in transport emissions by 2050.

In order to meet this goal and to ensure that transport continues to play its part during the transition towards a clean, digital and innovative EU economy, the Commission adopted its Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy in December 2020. It outlines the path towards more sustainable, smart and resilient mobility, and includes milestones, such as doubling rail freight and tripling high-speed rail activity by 2050. The Commission will present an action plan to boost passenger rail transport next year, and the strategy foresees measures to improve capacity and to simplify ticketing across different transport modes to further increase the attractiveness of rail.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Legendary Harlem Globetrotters slam-dunk at the UN, with message that brings families, nations together

‘Severe’ new US asylum restrictions will put vulnerable families at risk, UN refugee agency says

Sexual education in a school at the Brazilian Amazon

COP21 Breaking News: “There is an ecological debt that the world needs to pay back to Africa”, French President Francois Hollande promises 2 Billion euros by 2020 from Paris

3 reasons why data is not the new oil – and why this matters to India

Mexico needs a new strategy to boost growth, fight poverty and improve well-being for all

Bangladesh: Head of UN refugee agency calls on Asia-Pacific leaders to show ‘solidarity’ with Rohingya refugees

Clean Mobility: Commission tables proposal on car emissions testing in real driving conditions

The end of Spitzenkandidat: EU leaders concluded unexpectedly on EU top jobs

Statement by Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager on State aid measures to address the economic impact of COVID-19

Impact investment favours expats over African entrepreneurs. Here’s how to fix that

Reconciliation helps ‘repair fractures’, enable lasting peace, Security Council hears

How the tech sector can power the shift to a sustainable economy

It’s time to end the stigma around mental health in the workplace

‘Humiliation was the worst’; Holocaust survivor at UN, asks world to act with ‘empathy and compassion’

UN chief appeals to G7 leaders for ‘strong commitment’ and political will to tackle climate emergency

Why strive for Industry 4.0

The gender gap of medicine in 2018

How a new approach to meat can help end hunger

What next for Europe? Three (completely) different Davos views

Young health workforce – a core of effective primary healthcare?

‘€1 million’ fines for rescue boats prompts UN concern for future sea operations

The COVID-19 vaccine’s challenges

European financial values on the rise

UN programme to help spare millions from child marriage, extended to 2023

3 ways to improve diversity and inclusion in your organization

Two major EU projects falter; the Schengen Agreement now freezes and Eurozone fails to resolve the Greek enigma

‘Abhorrent’ ambulance attack in Libyan capital imperils life-saving work, warns UN

Coronavirus: Eight macro-financial assistance programmes agreed to support enlargement and neighbourhood partners

Air pollution: How to end the deaths of 7 million people per year?

India is now the world’s 5th largest economy

Parliament declares the European Union an ‘‘LGBTIQ Freedom Zone’’

Algeria must stop arbitrary expulsion of West African migrants in desert: UN migration rights expert

Cameron postpones speech in Holland

China-EU Summit on 16-17 July 2018: “Work together to address common challenges”, by China’s Ambassador to the EU

Respect for fundamental rights and freedoms key for peaceful polls in DRC – UN mission chief

Brexit effect: Public opinion survey shows that EU is more appreciated than ever

Afghanistan probe: ‘at least 60 civilians’ killed after US military airstrikes on alleged drug labs

Amid global ‘learning crisis’, Parliaments can ensure adequate resources for education, says UN Assembly President

Long-term EU budget: MEPs slam cuts to culture and education

‘End the ongoing atrocities’ against people with albinism in Malawi, say UN rights experts

This Netherlands football stadium creates its own energy and stores it in electric car batteries

The US will impose tariffs on Mexico, says President Trump

Challenges facing the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns

Commission opens infringement procedures against 24 Member States for not transposing new EU telecom rules

3 reasons we should all care about biodiversity

Air pollution: How to end the deaths of 7 million people per year

UN human rights ruling could boost climate change asylum claims

Australia urged to evacuate offshore detainees amid widespread, acute mental distress

Coronavirus spread now a global emergency declares World Health Organization

China Unlimited – The chinese tourism in Lisbon

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel Peace Prize

UN experts decry torture of Rakhine men and boys held incommunicado by Myanmar’s military

‘Champion for multilateralism’ readies to hand over UN General Assembly gavel

UN recognises role of sport in achieving sustainable development

Commission presents review of EU economic governance and launches debate on its future

Inclusion, empowerment and equality, must be ‘at the heart of our efforts’ to ensure sustainable development, says UN chief

EU Security Union Strategy: connecting the dots in a new security ecosystem

Pharmaceuticals conceal drug side effects with the EU’s Court blessing

The EU moulds a new compromise for growth and financial sustainability

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s