More than a third of the busiest short-haul flights in European countries have usable rail alternatives, which would reduce pollution, a recent study commissioned by environmental group Greenpeace found.
In addition, the group urged governments in European countries to increase train travel in order to reduce pollution from airplanes, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.
“There is a fairly simple way for Europeans to reduce their CO2 emissions: to prefer the train rather than the plane when traveling within the continent, and to make it easier and cheaper for people. The European rail network is dense and relatively fast in many countries, and it already offers a reasonable alternative to around half of the most popular short-haul air links ”, the statement reads.
In this regard, previously the European Commission announced that it has launched the Connecting Europe Express, as part of the European Year of Rail 2021, to highlight the benefits of using rail transport.
European Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean stressed that the railway is the most effective solution to the phenomenon of climate change as well as to post-pandemic economic recovery.
The train called Europe Express has stopped in almost all European countries, reaching more than 100 cities in order to promote train travel. In addition, the train stopped in 26 European Union member states passing through 33 border crossings allowing travelers to reach their European destinations using sustainable travel options such as rail transport.
According to a study by OBC Transeuropa, a total of 34 percent of the 150 most frequented short-haul flights have train travel alternatives of less than 6 hours. In addition, the study showed that problematic air routes, those with flights, and the authors pointed out that they could emit a dozen times more carbon dioxide than trains.
According to the study, journeys 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 tonnes of CO2 per year, as much as Croatia’s annual CO2 emissions,” he added. Greenpeace stressed in its statement.
According to the group, it would help if EU governments encouraged more train travel, especially overnight trains.
In addition, the group pointed out that if passengers started using trains instead of planes for these trips, a total of 54 million fewer people would travel by air each year, saving 3.5 million tonnes of CO2.