Deutsche Bahn CEO calls for expanding Europe’s rail network and more climate action in transport
The CEO of German rail company Deutsche Bahn, Richard Lutz, has called for an expansion of the European rail network and a harmonisation of national standards in all countries in order to ensure a large part of the growing traffic volume is absorbed by railroad transport. “Taking the train is akin to climate protection,” Lutz said in a guest article for business newspaper Handelsblatt, adding that the transport sector poses a particularly great challenge for the EU’s emissions reduction targets. “We strongly believe that the only way to reduce emissions long term will be to strengthen green rail,” he said, adding that investing in trans-European rail networks is one of the EU’s core responsibilities and that trains could form “Europe’s strong backbone.”
Railroad traffic is seen as a vital component for reducing the climate impact of Germany’s transport sector emissions but the share of rail in the German market’s freight transport sector is stagnant while the use of less climate-friendly modes of transportation like trucks and airplanes is on the rise. In a bid to encourage more train use, transport minister Andreas Scheuer recently mulled cutting the value added tax on long-distance train tickets from 19 to 7 percent.