31st CER General Assembly
European rail sector committed to reduce CO2 emissions
CER membership up to 66
Libor Lochman new Deputy Executive Director of CER
Brussels, Belgium – At the 31st General Assembly of the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) last week in Bucharest, the sector decided to define a precise target to reduce CO2 emissions by 2020. The CEOs of European railways and infrastructure managers committed themselves to clearly indicate a figure by the end of the year on the contribution of the sector to the EU reduction target of 20%.
Aad Veenman, CER Chairman and CEO of Dutch railways NS, said after the convention, which was hosted by the five Romanian CER members, CFR, CFR Marfă, CFR Călători, Servtrans Invest and GFR: “The transport sector is a key factor in achieving the EU’s target, as it is the only industry where emissions are still increasing. Rail transport, with its system advantages in this respect, is part of the solution to this challenge. Nevertheless, the railways will take their share of responsibility and be ambitious to do even better.”
Prior to the meeting, the CEOs discussed with the Romanian Transport Minister Ludovic Orban the specific challenges of rail transport in Central and Eastern Europe, such as old infrastructure and rolling stock with ensuing quality problems. Mr Orban expressed support for internalising the external costs of transport in the price of the services and earmarking these funds for transport projects – a key political objective of CER.
At the Bucharest meeting, CER welcomed three more companies as members of the association, bringing membership up to 66. Rail freight operator CFL Cargo from Luxembourg was established in 2006 and is transporting around 500 million tkm every year. Macedonian railway RFYROM, which is already a CER member, recently split into two separate companies: Macedonian Railways Infrastructure and Macedonian Railways Transport. Both companies applied for individual membership to the Brussels based organisation. Johannes Ludewig, CER Executive Director extended a warm welcome to the new members: “We are happy that CFL Cargo is strengthening the group of rail freight operators in CER; and we thank the Macedonian companies for their continuous support and trust into our work.” Today, out of the individual CER member companies 15 are independent rail freight companies and 32 manage railway infrastructure.
The General Assembly confirmed Libor Lochman as the new Deputy Executive Director of CER. Libor Lochman is a former Director of the Czech Railway Research Institute and joined CER in 2006.