The Climate Change Angels have combined with the Northern Rivers Railway Action Group in calling for the reinstatement of the Casino to Murwillumbah railway line.
Members of both groups met at the Lismore Railway Station on Sunday to highlight the importance of railways in tackling the impacts of climate change.
NRRAG secretary Beth Shelley said the high rate of emissions produced by the road transport sector was an issue that had largely been left out of the climate change discussion.
But as sea levels rise closer to coastal towns and storms rage, Ms Shelley said it was time governments took action to address the situation.
Ms Shelley pointed to the Mercator Research Institute on Climate Change in Berlin, which states that the transportation sector was responsible for ’23 percent of all human carbon dioxide emissions fueling climate change today, and they could double by 2050 as people in developing countries drive more’.
‘The best way to reduce emissions quickly is to invest in rail systems, bicycle lanes and other infrastructure that will minimize the need for driving,’ Ms Shelley said.
The Deloitte Report of 2011 states that “Australia is now the most intensive user of road freight in the world and has the least energy efficient, road passenger transport among members of the International Energy Association”.
Professor Phillip Laird from the University of Wollongong states in The Conversation 2014, “During 2011 – 2012, cars, buses and trucks used nearly 32 billion litres of petrol, diesel and LPG. By way of contrast, rail used 1.67 billion of diesel…Rail is much more energy efficient than road transport to move people and freight.”
Linda White, Coordinator of the Climate Guardian Angels coordinator Linda White said if the northern rivers area had rail services there would be five times less greenhouse gas emissions than that of car transportation.
‘The Casino to Murwillumbah railway line is an important part of the solution to climate change. We need railways to take cars and trucks off the road and stop burning fossil fuels,’ Ms Shelley said.
‘As we already have a railway line it would be easy for this area to reduce transport emissions by reinstating regular rail services for the Northern Rivers and extending them up to the Gold Coast.’