ADIF to Reduce Carbon Footprint by up to 86% by 2030

The Spanish rail infrastructure manager ADIF and ADIF High Speed (Adif AV) say they expect to reduce their carbon footprint by 86 percent by 2030.

The company’s Strategic Plan contains the strategic objective ‘environment and climate’, which aims at a transport sector that treats the environment responsibly and manages the planet’s resources with care. The plan contains a number of initiatives that focus on combatting climate change. ADIF’s plan, which covers the period 2018–2030, has the goal of increasing “the contribution of the railway to the objectives of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions”.

Renfe train in Catalonia, Spain
Renfe train in Catalonia, Spain

ADIF says it has the following main objectives for reducing its carbon footprint:

  • to reduce the energy the railways consume by 2,900GWh between 2018 and 2030.
  • to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approx. 9,000kt CO2eq between 2018 and 2030, achieved through implementing the plan projects and by taking into account emissions savings through modal shift. The figure would rise to 12,000kt CO2eq if green electricity were used.
  • to reduce the carbon footprint of Adif and Adif AV by a minimum of 25 percent by 2030 compared to 2016 figures and up to 86 percent “if the purchase of green electricity is taken into account”.
  • to include climate vulnerability assessments on all large railway projects starting in 2020.
  • to include climate change clauses in all contract documents from 2025 onwards.

Overall, Adif wants to look at its energy management, e.g. developing smart grids, its energy efficiency, and decarbonisation and renewables. These aspects all aim to mitigate the climate emergency by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, Adif wants to make its railway infrastructure more resilient to the impact of climate change. To round off its programme of activities, Adif also wants to do more to raise awareness about fighting climate change among its employees, suppliers and collaborators.

Adif AV is the first Spanish publicly owned entity to issue green bonds. These are there to finance and refinance projects that have a positive environmental balance sheet. It has made three such issues to date, for a sum of 1.8 billion euros in total.

COP25, the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, is currently taking place in Madrid.

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