HS2 should be ‘net zero’ from 2035, according to a new report published by the company building it.
HS2 Ltd’s Net Zero Carbon Plan says the under-construction railway “is being designed and built to be the most sustainable high-speed rail network in the world”.
Commitments detailed in the paper include using “100% zero carbon electricity generation to power our trains - making journeys on HS2 zero carbon for emissions from ‘day one’”, and offsetting “residual carbon emissions we cannot eliminate as we build, maintain and operate HS2 from 2035”.
Work so far includes redesigning the Chilterns Tunnel southern portal to cut carbon emissions by 45% and reducing the amount of steel used in the roof at Old Oak Common station by 27%.
The first diesel-free work site is to be introduced this year, with use of the fuel eliminated from all sites by 2029.
HS2 Ltd says that by 2030 it will also cut emissions from sourced concrete and steel by 50%, compared with 2021 levels.
HS2‘s carbon footprint is measured over the whole life of its assets - taken to mean 120 years of service. The baseline estimate for emissions for the project’s first phase (London-West Midlands) was 14.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
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