More than one-third of the busiest short-haul flights in European countries have usable train alternatives, which would reduce pollution, a recent study commissioned by the environmental group Greenpeace has revealed.
In addition, the group has urged the governments in European countries to boost train travel in order to reduce the pollution caused by planes, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“There’s one rather simple way Europeans could lower their CO2 emissions: favour the train instead of the plane when travelling within the continent, and make it easier and cheaper for people to do it. Europe’s rail network is dense and relatively fast in many countries, and it already offers a reasonable alternative to about half of the most popular short-haul air routes,” the statement reads.
In this regard, previously, the European Commission announced that it launched the Connecting Europe Express, as part of the European Year of Rail 2021, in order to point out the advantages of using rail transport.
The European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean, stressed that the railway is the most effective solution to the climate change phenomenon as well as the post-pandemic economic recovery.
The train known as connecting Europe Express stopped in almost every European country, reaching more than 100 towns and cities in order to promote rail travel. In addition, the train stopped at 26 European Union Member States passing through 33 border crossings permitting travellers to reach their European destinations by using sustainable options of travelling such as rail transport.
Based on a study conducted by OBC Transeuropa a total of 34 per cent of the 150 busiest short-haul flights have train travel alternatives of less than 6 hours. In addition, the study has shown that problematic air routes, ones with flights and authors stressed that they could emit a dozen times more carbon dioxide than trains would.
According to the study, the routes, including Madrid-Barcelona, Frankfurt-Berlin, as well as Brussels-Amsterdam, could be covered by train in two to four hours.
“Europe could replace almost all of the top 250 short-haul flights and save some 23.4 million tons of CO2 per year, as much as the annual CO2 emissions of Croatia,” Greenpeace has stressed in its statement.
According to the group, it would help if EU governments would promote train travel more, especially night trains.
In addition, the group stressed that if passengers started to use trains instead of planes for these journeys, a total of 54 million fewer people would travel by plane yearly, saving 3.5 million tonnes of CO2.