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07 Jun 2019, 13:06
Julian Wettengel

Deutsche Bahn CEO plans more ambition on climate and higher capacity

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / Süddeutsche Zeitung

The CEO of German rail company Deutsche Bahn, Richard Lutz, has set a focus on more climate ambition in a strategy draft for his company, reports Kerstin Schwenn in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. In a paper entitled “Germany needs a strong railway”, which will be discussed by company management in mid-June, Lutz proposes the company use 100 percent renewable power by 2038 (date of Germany's proposed coal exit), earlier than current plans of mid-century, writes Schwenn. In 2018, 57 percent of Deutsche Bahn’s electricity came from renewable sources. Lutz has reportedly adopted the federal government’s goal to double the number of long-distance passengers to more than 260 million (compared to 2015), writes Schwenn.
The company also plans to buy up to 200 new high-speed ICE trains by 2024 and to invest large sums into increasing the capacity of its railroad network, which already now is operating at its limits, Markus Balser writes in a separate article in Süddeutsche Zeitung. The "enormous effort", as Deutsche Bahn calls its own plan, will require many billions of euros in investment, a sum that could only be raised with resolute support by the German state, Balser writes.

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.

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