Shift money from prestigious projects to upgrading on a large scale within the period 2007 - 2013 especially in the context of climate change
The phenomenon of having huge prestigious projects with a small impact on improving the traffic situation in general rather than having it invested into the upgrading of long sections and thereby improving large parts of a network is drawing a continuous line through all the TEN-T corridors, be it Stuttgart 21, Brenner base tunnel or the bridge over the straight of Messina.
Climate change is one of the main problems that has to be tackled within the coming years, especially if we want to realistically keep the level of warming below 2° C. Traffic in Europe is responsible for about 21% of the CO2 emissions and according to the figures from the EEA road traffic has a share of about 93% within this sector. Due to the on-going increase in traffic it is quite clear that action has to be taken soon.
In order to facilitate the shift from environmentally harmful modes of transport to rail, it is essential to make rail more attractive through the modernisation of infrastructure as well as improved infrastructural management.
So within the coming years it is much more important to invest the little money that is available for the construction and upgrading of infrastructure in a very deliberate way in order to create the best benefits in terms of climate effectiveness.
Huge projects always tie up a large amount of money that could rather be invested into projects that improve the situation on a bigger scale and can mostly be realised in a much shorter time. Thereby they contribute to reducing the climate effects of traffic much earlier than prestigious projects would.
Therefore, especially at European level, it is much more important to focus on projects that could be realised in a reasonable time and have an immediate and significant effect on the reduction of CO2 emissions. The evaluation of this climate effect should be integrated in every decision on co-funding of projects by the EU.