The need for a greener planet and cleaner air will not only positively affect the way we live; it could also reap rewards for transportation-focused exchange traded funds (ETFs).

CNN Tech reports that as global climate change intensifies, many around the globe – from governments to companies to individuals – have also warmed to train travel. Traveling by rail is on average three to 10 times less CO2-intensive compared to road or air transport, according to the UIC, an organization of the railway sector based in Paris.

Among governments, China has been especially aggressive, spending heavily on its emerging high-speed nationwide rail network. As other countries join in on the transformation, related investments could grow along with the renewed awareness. [How is the shipping industry faring among the activity?]

The importance of railway transportation has recently increased due to widened environmental awareness, reflecting the fact that railway transportation has less environmental impact compared to other means of transportation. The global railway transportation systems market reached $7.1 billion and continues to expand, with emerging countries positioning railway transportation as a part of their important social infrastructure, reports BusinessWire on Your

Mitsubishi Electric will strengthen its product competitiveness by developing products that contribute to lowering the impact on the environment and saving energy. Meanwhile, in Japan, where railway transportation is now well-established, there still is a growing demand for capital investment in environmental and energy-related fields. Can ETFs help bridge the gap for foreign investment? [Why is the transportation sector so important?]

For more stories about transportation, visit our transportation category.

  • iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average (NYSEArca: IYT)

  • PowerShares Global Progressive Transport (NYSEArca: PTRP): This ETF focuses on companies that promote the advancement of efficient transportation

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.