Freight Rail Transport

NACE Macro-Sector: H - Transporting and storage

Level 2: H49

Level 3: H49.2

Level 4: H49.2.0

Freight Rail Transport

Climate Change Mitigation

Metric and threshold:

Zero direct emissions trains (e.g. electric, hydrogen) are eligible.
Other trains are eligible if direct emissions per tonne-km (gCO2e/tkm) are 50% lower than average reference CO2 emissions of HDVs as defined for the Heavy Duty CO2 Regulation, to be reviewed in 2025.
Rail that is dedicated to the transport of fossil fuels or fossil fuels blended with alternative fuels is not eligible even if meeting the criteria above.

Brief rationale

Zero direct emissions rail (e.g. electric, hydrogen) is eligible because: 

• With the present energy mix, the overall emissions associated with zero direct emissions rail transport (i.e. electric or hydrogen) are among the lowest compared with other transport modes. 
• The generation of the energy carriers used by zero direct emissions transport is assumed to become low or zero carbon in the near future.

The threshold of 50% lower than average reference CO2 emissions of HDVs ensures that the carbon intensity remains similar to criteria for eligible road freight vehicles, with a review in 2025 to assess technology developments in the freight transport sector. 
The Heavy Duty CO2 Regulation uses a g CO2/km metric. To convert this to a g CO2/tonne-km metric, the average payload for the road freight vehicles should be applied. Once reference value data is available, it is expected that the taxonomy will specify CO2e/tkm threshold values.

Climate Change Adaptation

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