Press releases

Friday 04 Dec 2009

Hundreds of passengers travel to Copenhagen climate conference on CO2-free Climate Express train

Paris/Copenhagen, 3 December 2009 – More than 400 climate change negotiators, business leaders, environmental activists and journalists will board the CO2-free Climate Express train on 5 December to the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen.

They will be hosted by Jean-Pierre Loubinoux , Director General of the International Union of Railways (UIC) and the initiator of this special train, along with Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme and James P. Leape, Director General of WWF. The passengers will also be joined by the British Council’s Young Climate Champions from all five continents on their trip to the Copenhagen conference, which kicks off on 7 December.

The aim of the journey is to support and encourage decision-makers to deliver a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the first international effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Its purpose is also to send out the message that the next-generation climate agreement and its supporting policies and procedures need to address the transport sector’s growing emissions

Also boarding the Climate Express train is the Climate Expert Team, which started the symbolic train journey 3 weeks ago in Kyoto – the birthplace of the current Climate Change Protocol. The journey took them among others along the Trans-Siberian route, organised by Russian Railways (RZD), with Copenhagen as their final destination. The Team will bring a special message from the rail community: a global position paper entitled “ Keeping Climate Change Solutions on Track: The Role of Rail”.

During their journey to Copenhagen via Cologne and Hamburg, the passengers will take part in a wide range of activities on the train, including high level discussions aiming to raise awareness of the transport sector’s influence on climate change. Achim Steiner, James Leape and Pr. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will also take part in a panel discussion on ‘Updating Climate Science: What is at stake?’.

On board the train, the workshops and round-table discussions on the various aspects of sustainable mobility and how it can be addressed in a post-2012 agreement will be a key opportunity for passengers on board to discuss the crucial climate talks ahead.

The journey will be a totally CO 2-free journey, as the power drawn for the locomotive comes entirely from renewable sources of energy. If the same group of people flew to Copenhagen, they would produce 115kg of CO 2 per person.

The Climate Express will be welcomed upon arrival in Copenhagen by Connie Hedegaard, the Minister for the UN Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen and Commissioner for Climate Action, Søren Eriksen, CEO of the Danish Railways (DSB), and Kim Carstensen , Leader of WWF International’s Global Climate Initiative.


The Climate Express train will be the final leg of the ‘Train to Copenhagen’ project, organized by the International Union of Railways (UIC) with the support of the UN’s Seal the Deal! Campaign and WWF, the global conservation organisation.

For more information on the Train to Copenhagen project and the reports of the Climate Expert Travel Team’s journey from Kyoto to Brussels please visit : www.traintocopenhagen.org

Practical information on the Climate Express

Departure from Brussels Midi (Platform 3)

From 8 am: Possibilities to interview:

  • Jean-Pierre Loubinoux , Director General of the International Union of Railways (UIC),
  • Achim Steiner , the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme
  • James P Leape, Director General of WWF

as well as the other EcoPassengers in front of the train

9.10 am: Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, Vice Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate

Change IPCC will sound the whistle signalling of the departure of the Climate Express

Arrival in Copenhagen Central Station:

22.55 Official Welcome by

Connie Hedegaard , the Minister for the UN Climate Change Conference COP 15

and Commissioner for Climate Action

Søren Eriksen, CEO of the Danish Railways (DSB)

Kim Carstensen , Leader, Global Climate Initiative, WWF International

Personalities boarding the Climate Express train to Copenhagen on 5 December will include:

  • Mr Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director
  • Mr Philippe Henry, Minister of Environment and Mobility
  • Ms Evelyne Huytebroeck, Minister of Environment
  • Mr Etienne Schouppe, Belgian State Secretary for Mobility
  • Mr Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele, IPCC Vice-President
  • Mr Matthias Ruete, Director General, Energy and Transport at the European Commission
  • Mr James P. Leape , Director General, WWF International
  • Mr Yoshio Ishida, UIC Chairman and Vice Chairman of East Japan Railways
  • Mr Rüdiger Grube, CEO of Deutsche Bahn
  • Mr Guillaume Pepy, CEO of SNCF
  • Mr Jannie Haek, CEO SNCB-Holding
  • Mr Richard Brown – CEO Eurostar
  • Mr Francisco José Cardoso Dos Reis, President of the Board of Directors
    of the Portuguese Railways (CP)
  • Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General
  • Mr Johannes Ludewig, CER Executive Director
  • Mr Michael Robson, EIM Generalsekretär
  • Mr Michael Clausecker, Director-General of UNIFE
  • Mr Hans Rat, UITP Secretary General
  • Mr. Wang Shi, the Chairman of the Chinese Society of Ecology and Entrepreneurs and Chairman of Vanke corporation
  • Ms Franny Armstrong, the producer and director of the film The Age of Stupid
  • Mr Luo Hong, the wildlife photographer and UNEP Climate Hero

Press contacts:

For International Press:

Liesbeth de Jong, UIC Press Relations, T: ++44 (0)7515186976, e-mail : dejong@uic.org

For the Danish and Foreign Correspondents in Copenhagen:

Jannik Preisler, DSB Kommunikation, T: + 45 24 68 44 77, e-mail: jpre@dsb.dk

Friday 04 Dec 2009
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