The Portuguese Secretary of State for Infrastructure says that, in the European Year of Rail, we need to "stress our common goals: to achieve a carbon neutral society in 2050". How we can get there was the question that participants sought to answer during the online Conference on "Shifting Freight to Rail: On track for a greener future", organised by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Jorge Delgado recalled that "decarbonisation of transport is one of the essential pillars for this change, given that transport accounts for 25% of total greenhouse gas emissions in Europe, making this sector the second largest source of pollution". And he believes that if we are to achieve the 2050 target, rail freight will have to play a larger part in making this change.
The Secretary of State took the opportunity to talk about Ferrovia 2020, Portugal's current investment programme in rail. This involves work on 40% of the country's rail network, representing more than 1,000 km of track and investment of more than 2 billion euros, in line with European funding strategies and guidelines.
Jorge Delgado also says that it is important to "find ways for different modes of transport to work together and contribute to our common goals, for the economy and for the climate".
The opening session featured an address by Peter Javorčík, Director-General for Transport, Energy, Environment and Education, who stressed the need to double Europe's rail capacity as the only way of achieving the aim of carbon neutrality in 2050.