This month UIC was on board the Climate Train, a travelling exhibit train launched by Trains Expo Evénements SNCF – the events subsidiary of SNCF – to raise awareness about the issues of climate change in the lead up to the United Nations COP21 event later this year in Paris. Endorsed by the COP21 Intergovernmental Committee, the Climate Train is a national event as part of France’s Science Week, taking place from 7 – 11 October 2015. Three coaches were dedicated to partner companies or organisations, including the International Union of Railways UIC.
The official inauguration was held at Paris Gare de Lyon railway station on 6 October, in the presence of Mrs Ségolène Royal, French Minister of Ecology, accompanied by the Secretary of State for Research Thierry Mandon.
The train, with on board the scientific Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), travelled to 18 destinations and 13 regions across France to raise awareness about climate change among the general public.
This train was composed of three coaches dealing with climate issues and impacts on our way of life; one coach was specifically dedicated to conferences – UIC presented in the town of Libourne (near Bordeaux) its actions in favour of the climate issue – to educate citizens on sustainable development issues and their own role in the upcoming event. The train, as a clean public mode of transport, corresponds exactly to the focused message: “A train such as this is the equivalent of taking 48 articulated lorries off the road. It is a tonne of CO2 emissions less for every 1000 km (…) SNCF has reduced its CO2 emissions by 40% over the last 10 years per passenger km, reiterated Jacques Rapoport, member of SNCF’s management board and chairman and CEO of SNCF Réseau.
On 10 October UIC attended the welcome event of the Climate Train in Lyon railway station. Several speeches were given by representatives from the railway and business sectors including SNCF (Laurence Eymieu, Regional Director SNCF Rhône-Alpes), University of Lyon, Météo-France meteorological service, AXA insurance company, Armonia Group …
Among the points mentioned, emphasis was placed sharing knowledge and best practice from the results of the research on climate change in order to help other companies and sectors. Laurence Eymieu from SNCF spoke about rail as one of the most energy efficient transport modes. Even though rail transport is responsible for 9% of global transport activity, it generates just 3% of transport greenhouse gas emissions. She said another aim was to raise awareness about climate change among the younger generation by targeting education in schools.
During the day on 10 October the Climate Train welcomed school groups and the general public of Lyon. The activities on board included a series of talks held in one of the coaches, explanations given by a team of scientists and researchers on the climate change exhibition inside the train, as well as a number of stands both inside and in front of the train showcasing the initiatives of various companies from the railway sector and the industry.
UIC had the opportunity to inform different audiences about its activities, its role in the Train to Paris campaign and its commitment to climate change and sustainable transport systems at global level.
UIC continued to take part in the Climate Train initiative, notably in the towns of Libourne (near Bordeaux) and Nantes.
In one month’s time, UIC will coordinate at the global level its campaign “Train to Paris” on behalf of its 240 Members.