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Rail Companies Aim to Make the Most of Flight Shaming



Rail companies in Europe are hoping to make the most of the growing flight shame movement.

A new report from Bloomberg reveals that Eurostar International is working toward a merger that it has labeled “Green Speed.” The rail company is hoping to join forces with its rival Thalys International.

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Combined the companies are aiming to attract even more travelers (drawing them away from plane and car travel) and in the process increase ridership by about two-thirds by 2030, Bloomberg reported.

At the same time, Deutsche Bahn is hoping to have about 200 million long-distance rail passengers by 2030.

And still, there’s more. Austria’s OEBB has embarked on plans to expand Nightjet sleeper services adding connections from Vienna to Brussels and Amsterdam.

The flight shame movement has been growing for quite some time, though youth climate change activist Greta Thunberg clearly put it on the map in a big way.

The movement stems from increasing concerns about climate change and many critics say the airline industry has an inordinate impact on global carbon emissions. Earlier this year airlines/responsible-travel-issues-call-for-action-on-aviation-emissions.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>Responsible Travel released a manifesto on aviation and climate change that called the aviation industry one of the fastest-growing contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.

Some airlines have been making strides on this issue. United Airlines for instance, recently announced plans to invest $40 million in a project designed to accelerate the development of sustainable aviation fuels and other decarbonization technologies. It is one of many such initiatives United has taken.

Europe has long been ahead of the curve in many ways in the battle against climate change. The continent has been adding significant amounts of high-speed rail for several years. While it is still behind China, it is far ahead of the United States.

Though it’s worth noting that even building track has resulted in carbon emissions on its own. Despite that fact, Europe’s railway system is poised to be a significant help in the fight against climate change.

For instance, Deutsche Bahn’s long-distance trains operate via 100 percent renewable power, according to Bloomberg. What’s more, Germany recently unveiled higher aviation taxes and gave several billion euros to the national rail company. Berlin meanwhile, is working to trigger higher demand by slashing sales tax on train fares.

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