Premiere of the UN Global Compact Network Poland report entitled “Green Railway in Poland – Climate, Energy, Transport”

The transition of the Polish railway to RES power supply will have a positive impact on society, economy, entrepreneurship, technology and pursuit of national policies (including climate and transport ones). The authors of the Report and participants in the panel agree that the green railway should be implemented from the Polish level.
On October 25, 2021, in the Ministry of Climate and Environment, the UN Global Compact Network Poland report entitled “Green Railway in Poland – Climate, Energy, Transport” was premiered with the participation of the representatives from the Ministry of Climate and Environment, experts of UN Global Compact Network Poland, Centre for Railway Energy Efficiency, authors of the study and representatives of business.
The report contains analyses of the effects of the planned shift of railway transport in our country to power supply from renewable sources. The authors of the individual chapters are: dr hab. Halina Brdulak, Professor at the SGH Warsaw School of Economics, Natalia Hatalska – President of, dr hab. Danuta Kisperska-Moroń, Professor at the University of Economics in Katowice, Paulina Kozłowska – transport and economic analyst, dr hab. inż. Krzysztof Perlicki, Professor at the Warsaw University of Technology, dr Andrzej Piotrowski and dr Michał Wolański.
 – As regards electromobility, Poland is at the beginning of its path. One of the practical solutions is the Green Railway program. The railway, as a branch of transport with the highest degree of electrification and a small number of market participants, could be the basis for support for the transition of Polish transport into carbon efficient one – notes dr. hab. Halina Brdulak, Professor at the SGH Warsaw School of Economics, UN Global Compact Network Poland expert, editor of the report.
The railway transport sector is characterized by the high ease and efficiency of energy transition – both in comparison with other sectors of the economy and other branches of transport. Naturally, decarbonization of the Polish economy is a major challenge due to the dominance of the coal-based power sector. Thus, the solutions working well in many other EU countries, consisting in electrification of road transport means, in the Polish conditions will not have a direct decarbonization effect without the systematic provision of “green energy” – stresses dr Michał Wolański, co-author of the report.
The transition of railway transport to RES power supply is an opportunity to meet, in a relatively short period of time, the requirements faced by the railway, placed by dominating megatrends in the globalized economic reality, social expectations, EU post-Covid recovery plans for economic, as well as CO2 emission reduction strategies and plans developed at the national and regional levels.
The railway will play an important role in striving for climate neutrality. It is one of the most environmentally friendly and energy-efficient means of transport. The Polish railway industry noticed that zero-emission sources could be an effective alternative to conventional solutions, which is shown, for example, by the Green Railway Program – said Adam Guibourgé-Czetwertyński, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Climate and Environment.
Tapping the potential of railway means a concrete action for electromobility in our country. In fact, railway transport has features which make it possible for it to be a basis for support for the process of transition of Polish transport towards carbon efficiency. They include, first of all, a high degree of electrification, as well as a dedicated and regulated power system and a relatively small number of market participants.
Green change is possible
PKP Energetyka was entrusted by CEEK with the implementation of the Green Railway Program. – This is a huge, comprehensive and ambitious project. But for a long time it has not been just a plan any longer. The Green Railway is already present here – at the beginning of the year, the program entered the phase of implementation which has been accelerating – says Leszek Hołda, Member of the Management Board of PKP Energetyka. – Successive carriers declare their participation in this project, with some of them we have already been conducting advanced negotiations on selling green energy. Carriers responsible for annual transport of almost 30% of railway passengers in our country expressed their will to accede to the Program. On the other hand, cargo carriers that concluded letters of intent with us as regards shifting to RES power supply account already for almost 22% of the railway cargo transport market by weight – stresses President Hołda.
Is the Green Railway part of the UN’s global efforts to combat climate change? Definitely yes. From the IEA World Energy Outlook 2020 report, we know that we are dependent on fossil fuels, obtaining almost 81% of energy from coal, oil and gas. In the background, there is power generation and transmission infrastructure based on a high-emission model that must be altered or decommissioned. The key to rapid energy transition and reduction in emissions are sectoral programs which have a high replication potential and which, along with each subsequent implementation, will improve efficiency and become cheaper thanks to the economies of scale and dissemination of green technologies – notes Kamil Wyszkowski, Executive Director of UN Global Compact Network Poland.
Sustainable transport and green supply chain
The green railway is promoted by the growing level of environmental awareness of consumers. On the one hand – as passengers – they attach increasing importance to the choice of an environmentally friendly means of transport. On the other hand – they pay attention to the carbon footprint of products they use. This is connected with an environmentally friendly change in the business’ approach to pursuing business activity. Companies active in various industries as well as various institutions and organizations increasingly wish to reduce their carbon footprint, but also the one generated by their cooperating subcontractors, including transport companies. Creating so-called “green supply chains” and increasing the share of railway in logistic processes carried out for the largest customers of products and goods are acquiring great importance.
Business counts its carbon footprint and sets ambitious reduction targets for itself; therefore, all new sources helping reduce the negative environmental impact in this respect, such as the green railway in the supply chain, are certainly of interest to business. In IKEA by 2030 we want to be climate positive throughout the value chain, so we will look carefully at the possibilities of reducing the climate footprint also in transport – added Maciej Krzyczkowski, Head of Public Affairs, IKEA Retail Polska
The premiere of the Report was mainly attended by: Adam Guibourgé-Czetwertyński, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Climate and Environment, Kamil Wyszkowski, Representative and Executive Director of UN Global Compact Network Poland, Leszek Hołda, Member of the Management Board of PKP Energetyka, dr. hab. Halina Brdulak, Professor at the SGH Warsaw School of Economics, Alan Beroud, President of the Management Board of SKM Warszawa and Member of the Program Council of the Centre for Railway Energy Efficiency (CEK), dr Michał Wolański, SGH Warsaw School of Economics and Maciej Krzyczkowski, Global Public Affairs & Advocacy Ingka Group, Project Leader (COP26). The discussion was moderated by editor Michał Niewiadomski, “Rzeczpospolita”. 
The broadcast of the event may be watched below:

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