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British high-speed HS2 trains to run on zero-carbon electricity

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British high-speed HS2 trains to run on zero-carbon electricity

Britain’s new highspeed HS2 trains will use carbon-free electricity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the government in London said.

Andrew Stephenson, Minister responsible for high-speed rail, announced the commitment along with a series of new measures to reduce the project’s carbon footprint.

Other promises include removing diesel from at least one HS2 construction site by 2022 and from all sites by 2029.

There is a new target for carbon emissions from steel and concrete used to build the railway to be cut in half, compared to 2021 levels by 2030.

The carbon-free operation of the HS2 trains from day one means that they would only use electricity generated from sources such as wind, nuclear and solar, rather than fossil fuels.

Stephenson said: “We know that the climate crisis calls for urgent action, and these HS2 commitments are vital steps towards cleaner travel in the UK.

“HS2 is a once-in-a-lifetime investment and we want to ensure that the nation’s largest infrastructure project supporting thousands of jobs and businesses is backed by the government’s ambitions for a greener transportation and construction future.”

Britain has committed to reducing all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

HS2 Ltd. CEO Mark Thurston said: “HS2 Ltd. is fully committed to reducing our carbon emissions as we design, build and operate the new railway.

“We have ensured that addressing climate change is an essential feature of all areas of our work in design, early work and during main construction, allowing the project to build towards net zero starting in 2035. .

“The new targets announced today demonstrate the important role that HS2 will play in addressing the climate challenge by providing a low-carbon long-distance transportation solution and leading the construction industry in reducing carbon emissions.”

The first phase of HS2 from London to Birmingham is scheduled to open between 2029 and 2033.

Kathryn Brown, Director of Climate Action for The Wildlife Trusts, said: “It’s good to hear positive ambitions for HS2 because, so far, construction has only caused damage and destruction of nature.

Promising low-carbon travel is vital, but not if it’s done at the expense of the natural world.

“We cannot build our way out of the climate crisis, and the government has made it clear that nature and natural processes need to be restored on an unprecedented scale.

“When it comes to the emergence of nature, so far HS2 has only made things worse.”

dpa / NAN

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