Harald Diaz-Bone, UNFCCC, noted that the transportation sector had the highest growth rate of greenhouse gas emissions in comparison to other sectors in developed countries and highlighted that the more frequent use of cars than trains is partly due to the availability of inexpensive car fuel. Presenting the status of key policies and measures in the transport sector, he noted that very few resulted in substantial emission reductions. Diaz-Bone mentioned policy options, including energy efficiency regulations and transport demand management, and showcased the success of an integrated transportation strategy in Finland. He emphasized that emission reductions achieved through technical measures would be offset to some extent by an increase in transportation activities. He also observed the shift from regulatory instruments toward economic and fiscal ones.
Heinrich Stroessenreuther, Deutsch Bahn, discussed the initiatives of Germany’s railroad system in reducing its impact on climate change. He outlined concrete measures for improving energy efficiency in the railway sector, such as creating timetable buffers and influencing the behaviour of train conductors.
Gunther Ellwanger, UIC, presented a study that showed that the total external costs of the transport sector, not including congestion, amounted to 7% of Western Europe’s Gross Domestic Product in 2000. He said that these external costs, including accidents, air pollution, climate change, and noise, are mostly caused by motorized transport. Noting that the polluter-pays principle can be applied to the transport sector, he concluded that external costs for all transport modes should be internalized simultaneously and as soon as
Markus Liechti, European Federation for Transport and Environment, discussed ways to achieve sustainable transport systems. Noting the increased use of cars in the EU, he underscored the importance of addressing transport demand as well as technology, and described the negative consequences of increased transport usage, including air pollution, noise, human health, accidents and climate change. Liechti outlined ways to make transportation more sustainable, including reducing energy consumption and shifting toward less-polluting transportation modes. He underscored the importance of giving the right incentives, such as applying the polluter-pays principle and emissions trading in the transportation sector. He concluded by stressing the need for political commitment and a package of concrete measures.