The Climate Express, an epic 9,000 kilometre-long train journey from Kyoto to Copenhagen, is now in Copenhagen bringing delegates to the UN Climate Change conference, which begins officially on Monday.
A small team of environmental experts, NGOs and journalists had left Kyoto, Japan in November to document the impacts of climate change, raise awareness of low-carbon transport solutions, and gather signatures for the UN led Seal the Deal! Climate Petition. The train picked up more passengers in Vladivostok on 21 November, crossing Russian territory from East to West over 11 days.
The delegation consisted of Italian and British journalists, representatives of the UIC, UNEP and the Russian Railway Company.
The team made several stops in Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, and Nizhny Novgorod where passengers had a chance to see what’s needed to keep trains on track and on time.
The delegation visited mobile emission control laboratories, coach cleaning, waste management plants, wheel assembly factories and learnt about various Russian Railway activities to increase energy efficiency and reduce green house gas emissions.
In every city that the train passed through, passengers met leaders of the Russian Railway regional branch, local governments, environmental NGOs and media. At these events, people discussed the impacts of climate change.
In Novosibirsk, the train team met 10-year-old Ludmila Balovneva, a Russian girl who won the 2009 Children’s Painting Competition, arranged by UNEP. Her painting had been selected from 2.4 million entries from around the world.
Ludmila Khorosheva, UNEP’s representative on the train said:
“Being part of the UN's global campaign on climate change which is encouraging governments to conclude a fair, balanced and effective agreement, it was clear that the train journey was a great opportunity to attract people’s attention and consolidate them around the common cause.”
‘I would like to express our thanks to the Russian Railways management and the staff who received the guests in the cities for their professional work, warmth and hospitality,” she added