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Carbon-free train to Copenhagen!

11/07/09

—Yi Wang (Shenyang, China)

According to a press briefing by the International Union of Railways in Barcelona this past week, there will be a carbon-free train going from Kyoto to Copenhagen. Recently,  an international rail seminar was held in Kyoto, and the information from it will be transmitted by the train from Kyoto to Copenhagen. The goal is to increase people’s awareness of the impact of transportation on climate change. The train will go all the way through Russia, then Berlin, and on to Brussels where they will have another train called climate express.

This train will take decision makers, business leaders, and NGOs on to the world summit in Copenhagen on December 5. This project is not only about sending a message to Copenhagen, but also about people meeting each other and discussing climate change. The journey from Brussels to Copenhagen is totally CO2 free. If people were to fly to Copenhagen instead, they would produce 150 kg CO2 per person.

The speakers in this session introduced us to two useful tools—www.ecopassenger.org and www.ecotransit.org. On those websites, people can compare different transport performance and energy consumption and CO2 emission performance for all transport modes for their selected routes. People can also see what it would to take to make sustainable routes by using those two tools.

The good measurement of transport has significant meaning, because transport is causing 20% of Global CO2 emission. To mitigate emissions, people have to make behavior changes, as well as technological innovations. On the website of www.traintocopenhagen.org, people will not only see everyday posts about the trip to Copenhagen and news of COP15, but also learn about environmental discussions and research. The sooner people are used to planning out their cleanest routes, the cleaner and lighter future the world is going to have.

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