The European Union's target of cutting carbon dioxide emissions from transport by nearly two-thirds by 2050 is realistic, European Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas insisted Friday.
"Of course it's ambitious ... but it is realistic, and we believe this is implementable," he told reporters in Helsinki, referring to a goal set by the EU in March to slash CO2 emissions from transportation by 60 percent by mid-century.
Kallas insisted the goal could be accomplished using green technology and better public transport, insisting it was especially important to develop Europe's rail network and introduce high-speed trains between hub cities to cut down on short-haul flights.
Kallas said this has already been done on the Barcelona-Madrid and the Rome-Milan routes with great success.
"We want to move 50 percent of road traffic beyond 300 kilometres to rail traffic," he added.
The ambitious Rail Baltica project, which will eventually connect the Estonian capital Tallinn to Warsaw, Poland, has run into delays and reluctance on behalf of both Latvia and Lithuania to earmark the necessary funds.
Kallas said the funding had now been secured from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, adding that the link should be completed by 2019 -- three years behind schedule.
Explore further: NOAA predicts possible record-setting deadzone for Gulf of Mexico