A group of environmental protection experts has crossed the Trans-Siberian Railway in a special RZD carriage as part of a global project organized by the International Union of Railways (UIC), Russian Railways (RZD), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). RZD Vice President Oleg Toni took part in the ceremonial meeting of the environmental journey participants.
“Railway transport is recognized throughout the world as one of the most environmentally friendly, because the intensity of its energy consumption is significantly lower than that of other forms of transport, for example cars”, Toni said during the meeting.
He said that RZD is actively taking part in environmental protection initiatives. The company has drawn up and adopted an Environmental Strategy up to 2015, with an outlook until 2030, which envisages an environmental impact reduction of 35% by 2015, and 70% by 2030.
Each year, the company implements its program for resource saving and its “Ensuring Environmental Security” investment project. Each year during major repairs to fuel-powered locomotives, more than 200 outdated engines are replaced with modern environmentally friendly Russian-made engines, which raise the fuel efficiency of repaired locomotives by 15%.
Since the founding of RZD (from 2003 through 2009), the company has reduced its atmospheric emissions by 34%, liquid waste dumping in surface water bodies by 60%, and industrial water use by 27%.
International Union of Railways representative Margrethe Sagevik, speaking on behalf of participants in the environmental expedition, thanked Russian Railways for organizing the journey, and noted the high level of qualifications among company specialists involved in tackling environmental monitoring issues and implementing natural protection measures.
From Moscow, the environmental team will travel to Brussels, where they will join the Brussels-Copenhagen Climate Express, and deliver a “climate” message drawn up in Kyoto to the UN conference, to be held in Copenhagen from 17 to 18 December 2009. The main goal of the “Train to Copenhagen” campaign is to draw attention to the role of transport in climate change, and to promote rail transport, which could provide one of the solutions to the problem of carbon dioxide emissions.
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