As the most fuel-efficient way to move freight over land, freight rail is already ahead of other surface transportation modes when it comes to limiting its carbon footprint.

While targeted private investments and increased fuel efficiency are making railroads even more sustainable, more work must be done and the right policies are essential for charting a path forward. To be effective, policy strategies aimed at fighting climate change must encourage innovative solutions, leverage market-based competition and allow for varied approaches that drive down emissions. Most importantly, these strategies must be grounded in data and established through a cooperative, multi-faceted approach involving all stakeholders.

  1. Encourage competition and harness market principles to reduce emissions: Well-designed policies will alter market behavior, helping promote sustainable greenhouse gas reductions.
  2. Drive research and adoption of promising new technologies: Investment in basic and industry-specific research coupled with the right policies and incentives will spur innovation to reduce emissions.
  3. Allow partnerships between railroads and industry to advance sector-specific progress: The freight rail industry has its own unique advantages and challenges it faces in reducing its impact on the environment.

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