HS2 Publishes Net Zero Carbon Plan

HS2 has published its Net Zero Carbon Plan, which sets out how it will make the project net zero carbon from 2035.

This will support the UK Government’s 2050 target to tackle climate change.

Artists impression of an HS2 train
Artist’s impression of an HS2 train

HS2 trains will be powered by zero carbon energy from day one of operation, while construction sites will be diesel-free by 2029 – with the first expected this year.

Other targets include halving carbon emissions from steel and concrete by 2030 compared with 2021 levels, working with supply chain partners and industry peers to set new science-based targets to tackle carbon emission hotspots, and offsetting residual carbon emissions that can’t be fully eliminated.

Andrew Stephenson, HS2 Minister said:

“We know that the climate crisis demands urgent action and these commitments from HS2 are vital steps towards achieving cleaner UK travel.

“HS2 is a once-in-a-lifetime investment and we want to ensure the country’s biggest infrastructure project, supporting thousands of jobs and businesses, is underpinned by the Government’s ambitions for a greener transport and construction future.”

HS2 aims to achieve its eco goals by collaborating with the supply chain and research organisations to pilot and implement low carbon materials, alternative fuels, renewable energy and new construction methods through the HS2 Innovation programme.

32 programmes focusing on everything from design and construction are currently underway. It’s estimated these will help to reduce of carbon emissions by 1.6 million tonnes.

Examples include reducing carbon emissions by 45% by redesigning the Chilterns tunnel south portal, redesigning the roof at Old Oak Common station to reduce the amount of steel by 27%, using recycled wind turbine blades to reinforce concrete – cutting carbon emissions for reinforcement by up to 90% – and using Clean Air Gas Engine technology to cut carbon on construction sites.

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