CER welcome European Environment Agency report

Brussels, Belgium – The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER)
welcomes the European Environment Agency (EEA) report on the
environmental impacts of transport. The Agency warns that the environmental
performance of the transport sector is still unsatisfactory. One of the key
messages of the report is that modal shift from road towards rail transport can
contribute to reducing environmental impacts, particularly of long distance
freight transport. Moreover, the Agency asks for internalisation of external costs
to become a main focus of transport pricing policy. With greenhouse gas emissions from transport having increased by 32% between
1990 and 2004, and road transport being by far the biggest transport emission
source (93% share), the report urges for additional policy initiatives and
instruments to change this tendency.

CER fully supports these conclusions. Johannes Ludewig, Executive Director of
CER, said: “The report’s conclusions highlight again that perverse legal situation
regarding transport pricing must be put right as a matter of urgency. Today, EU
law effectively prevents Member States to take into account external costs when
determining levels of road tolls. From this situation, we have to get to the
position where users of transport infrastructure must pay for the effects on the
environment, safety and congestion.”

The report comes a few days after the draft of the third of the four 2007 IPCC
reports became public knowledge. This IPCC report is said to confirm that the
greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector have grown faster than in any
other sector. In 2004, they were more than double the 1970 level. According to
media reports on the IPCC publication, road transport accounts for 75% of these
emissions worldwide.

CER urges national and European politicians to take actions on the basis of the
various studies on climate change presented in recent months.

Additional background information (provided by Infrasite’s Editorial Staff)
Transport – bottom of the Kyoto class again (2007-02-26)
Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis (02-02-2007)