There has recently been much debate on policies to stimulate a modal shift of road freight transport towards inland shipping in many European countries. In this respect, the question this paper deals with is: What is the added value of modal shift seen in light of achieving the Kyoto goals concerning the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Belgium? Different scenarios with varying growth rates for inland navigation were examined. A modal shift from road towards water would merely reduce the growth of CO2 emissions. In none of the scenarios is the aim of the Belgian region met. Conversely, banning inland navigation completely would increase greenhouse gas emissions, indicating their potential to reduce transport's greenhouse gas emissions. The CO2 reduction within the most forward looking scenario is comparable to the amount of CO2 captured each year by Belgian forests.

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