A transition to a green economy is needed to tackle the climate crisis. At the same time, it is necessary to ensure that the transition is fair, inclusive and sustainable in the long run. A just transition means exploring all the implications of this transformation and using dialogue to find right the tools to guide it.

In the context of transport – given its importance for accessing the world of work, services and participating in social life – the aim of the just transition is to move towards a sustainable mobility model from which no one is excluded.

The FS Group, a key player in Italy’s sustainable growth, has undertaken the Just Transition and transport project with the aim of promoting consideration of the social and territorial impacts of adopting climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. Launched in cooperation with the Italian Foundation for Sustainable Development, the first goal of the project is to draft a Report used to define the transition towards a more sustainable transport system.

Just Transition and transport

The goal of the Green Deal is to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. When applied to the Italian transport sector, this target is to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 and 43.7 % lower greenhouse gas emissions in 2030, compared to 2005 levels.

It is now well known that trains are one of the most sustainable means of transport and that their increased use, as a substitute for other, less sustainable means of transport, has extremely significant environmental benefits, though not enough emphasis is placed on the fact that investment in railways can also lead to a reduction in social and regional inequalities, in comparison with other types of investment, and in light of modal integration with other low-impact mobility solutions.

Just Transition and the FS Group

The Group’s Climate Transition Plan steers the strategy and actions of the Industrial Plan along a decarbonisation path aligned with scientific studies on fighting climate change. As a tool to support decarbonisation, the FS Group uses innovative methodologies to assess the GHG emissions of investment projects, particularly in the context of infrastructure construction.

 Shared infrastructure projects functional to the growth of territories play the role of generative elements capable of triggering new economic, social and environmental development dynamics in the areas involved. From this point of view, railway network upgrading and development projects can take on an increasingly leading role in the transformation and redevelopment processes of the territory and contribute to social well-being, through the development of greater attractiveness of locations, and the transformation of territories and communities from a long-term perspective.

In this context, the railway investments included in the NRRP represent an extraordinary opportunity to promote sustainable mobility and infrastructure, in which railway lines and stations become key elements that make a tangible contribution to Italy’s development, supporting healthy and sustainable growth in line with current global challenges.