Oil, Road Ministries Push for Railroad Expansion

The plan will rein in carbon dioxide emissions by 30m tons per year.The plan will rein in carbon dioxide emissions by 30m tons per year.

Iran is planning to cut down on harmful emissions and cap fuel consumption by expanding  its rail network, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said.

"We have the capacity to export 25 million liters of diesel per day, but face a lack of export terminals," Zanganeh said on the sidelines of signing an agreement between the ministries of oil and roads and urban development on expanding rail transport, IRNA reported.

According to officials, the initiative is an effort to enforce a single, unified policy across all bodies and organizations to promote rail transport as a clean and energy-efficient form of commute and goods transport.

"The plan will rein in carbon dioxide emissions by 30 million tons (per year) as part of our pledge at the Paris Climate Conference last year," said the minister.

Iran is one of the 195 nations that signed the historic Paris Agreement in December last year that aims to cap the global emission of greenhouse gases and limit global warming to well below 2°C.

The country has vowed to curtail its harmful emissions by 4% by 2030, but some officials and environmentalists say emission cuts can be increased to 12% if certain conditions are met.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif signed the climate deal in April during a ceremony at the United Nations headquarters in New York. According to Massoumeh Ebtekar, vice-president and head of the Department of Environment, the deal should also be ratified by the parliament.

A large majority of environmental scientists warn that if global temperatures rise by more than 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, the consequences will be severe and, in some cases, irreversible.

This is the second agreement signed between Iran's oil and roads ministries this year.  The first was signed in March to remove 65,000 heavy vehicles, including trucks and trailers, over 35 years old off the roads in an effort to curb fuel consumption and the worsening air pollution.

  Diesel Consumption, Export

Another measure to curtail diesel consumption was scrapping fixed quotas and allocation of diesel to heavy vehicles based on the number of kilometers traveled. The plan started in September last year.

According to reports, it was not until 2014 that Iran stopped importing diesel. The country bought massive amounts of diesel on the international markets before 2014 to meet rising demand from power plants and the transportation sector.

Iran’s diesel export has reached 15 million liters per day, with the UAE and Singapore being the biggest importers, the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company said last month.

Officials say that upgrading Iran's southern oil terminals, including the Kharg Terminal in the Persian Gulf, and developing infrastructure, namely pipelines and storage facilities, will help boost diesel exports to more than 20 million liters per day.


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