The head of Deutsche Bahn, Richard Lutz, has said the state railway company is accelerating its timeline to become climate-neutral by ten years.
The original goal was for DB to be climate-neutral by 2050. The new deadline is to be 2040 Richard Lutz told the supervisory board. The target applies to all of the company’s railway operations in Germany as well as to the global logistics subsidiary DB Schenker. The German government recently put forward a date of 2045 for climate-neutrality for the country.
“Sustainability is the core of our brand. That's why we're setting even more ambitious goals when it comes to protecting our climate. It's important to me personally that we make even faster progress. Our interim results emphasise the huge potential of rail: compared to other modes of transport in Germany, the railway is the only one that has consistently demonstrated a favourable balance regarding its impact on our climate since 1990. Over the past 30 years, DB has able to cut its carbon emissions significantly, by around 70 percent. Taking the train is an active way to protect the climate. That's why the investment and modernisation offensive of our 'Strong Railway' strategy is exactly right in order to achieve a modal shift and our climate goals.”
In order to meet the 2040 deadline, Deutsche Bahn will supply all of its sites, its offices and stations in Germany completely with green electricity by 2025. It will also make its heating supply greener – fossil fuels such as oil and gas will gradually be phased out. Increased energy efficiency is also to reduce overall energy consumption.
Deutsche Bahn will be able to reduce its carbon emissions over the coming years thanks to significantly younger fleets operating long-distance, regional and freight services. The company is hoping that by investing in alternative traction power sources and fuels, it will achieve its 2040 goal. Technology-neutral pilot projects conducted together with industry partners are focusing on making local traffic on rail and road greener. Plans include converting DB Regio’s bus fleet to more climate-friendly fuels, building the necessary infrastructure for battery-powered trains, supplying fuel-cell trains with hydrogen and implementing the use of synthetic fuels on both rail and road.
Digitalising the railway and making technical upgrades will also have a positive impact on the company’s climate impact.
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