WEO Week: Sectoral transitions to new energy industries
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Rail

Urban and high-speed rail infrastructures have scaled up rapidly over the past decade, laying the foundation for convenient, low-emissions transport within and between cities.

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Key findings

GHG intensity of passenger transport modes, 2019

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Rail is one of the most energy-efficient transport modes

Rail is one of the most energy-efficient transport modes, responsible for 9% of global motorised passenger movement and 7% of freight but only 3% of transport energy use. Urban and high-speed rail infrastructure has expanded rapidly over the past decade, laying the foundation for convenient, low-emissions transport within and between cities. China is leading the way in deploying high-speed rail with unprecedented expansion: passenger activity increased about 13% in 2019, more than twice that of domestic aviation. Further rail investments in India and Southeast Asia in particular can help get the transport sector on track with the SDS by displacing more emissions-intensive modes such as cars, trucks and airplanes.