Back to the Rails: Good for the Economy

José Blanco, Minister of Development of Spain, last week presented his government’s plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in transportation and buildings. By far the largest part of the plan involves shifting of freight transportation from road to rail, a move that, with other improvements to the efficiency of rail transportation, is expected to provide annual savings of 28 million tonnes of CO2 and ε9.4 million ($13 million CDN).  Spain’s total GHG annual emissions are currently about 337 million tonnes (compare Canada at 734 million tonnes, both for 2008 ) and have been rising significantly in recent years. Spain’s population is about 46 million compared to 34 million for Canada.

Other benefits identified by the Minister include strengthening of the national and urban transportation systems and a major contribution to economic recovery.

A copy of the plan and associated documents (in Spanish) is available at

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