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Rail Baltica Drives the Climate Conversation at United Nations COP28

Rail Baltica Drives the Climate Conversation at United Nations COP28
photo: Rail Baltica / Public domain/COP28
09 / 12 / 2023

During the 28th session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), discussions also took place regarding the role of the Rail Baltica project in ensuring sustainable railway transport in the Baltic region.

On Wednesday, 6 December, a panel discussion titled “Rail Baltica Project as a Catalyst for Sustainable Transport Future” took place, featuring the top leadership responsible for the implementation of Rail Baltica from the Baltic States’ ministries. The discussion was opened by Emilien Dang, Chief Technical Officer and Member of the Management Board of the joint venture RB Rail AS, who introduced the technical parameters of Rail Baltica and environmental sustainability solutions.

“In the process of designing and constructing greenfield infrastructure that will serve the needs of society for at least the next 100 years, adaptation to climate change emerges as a crucial aspect. This not only ensures resilience but also safeguards investments, enhances public safety, aligns with regulations, and contributes to overall environmental sustainability. Rail Baltica has incorporated climate-related considerations into the project’s life cycle since its initial stages of planning and design,” remarked Emilien Dang.

Rail Baltica / Public domain

As an example, he mentioned a comprehensive study on the impact of climate change conducted for Rail Baltica, which assessed how climate change affects the operation and technical maintenance of Rail Baltica railway infrastructure throughout its lifecycle. The study identified the most vulnerable parts of the railway infrastructure and proposed relevant adaptation and mitigation measures, which will be integrated into the design of the line and further implemented during the construction phase.

Dang also emphasized Rail Baltica’s contribution to achieving EU energy independence and improving regional energy security. The global project aims to use 100% renewable energy, projecting a reduction in CO2 emissions exceeding 150,000 tCO2e per year of operation in 2030 and over 400,000 tCO2e per year of operation by 2050. By promoting a modal shift towards rail, the net cost of greenhouse gas emissions is expected to decrease from 2.3 to 3.1 billion euros. It is estimated that fossil fuel consumption could decrease from 1.5% to 3.3% compared to the average consumption during the period between 2010 and 2021.

COP28 is the most significant global forum in the field of climate change, addressing progress in fulfilling the commitments outlined in the Paris Agreement to significantly limit global warming. COP28 consists of several hundred intergovernmental negotiations, as well as numerous parallel conferences, seminars, discussions, and other events.

Source: Rail Baltica