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HS2 is a carbon-intensive project

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‘Experts’ behind the building of HS2 have said they had an ‘obligation to reduce their carbon impact and were insisting that all their Tier 1 contractors were PAS2080 accredited within 12 months of contract award’, according to Construction Europe (27 November 2017).

The inescapable reality is, by its very nature, HS2 would be a carbon-intensive megaproject, in both its construction and operation phases. For example,

  • thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases would have to be released just to push earth around to create the alignment for HS2 track (a completely unnecessary activity, because a ‘ready-made’ alignment for 200 – 225 km/h trains exists, in the form of the Great Central Main Line to Rugby and the East Midlands)
  • running trains at ‘HS2 speeds’ (330+ km/h) vastly increases the traction energy requirement, and hence the carbon emissions
  • the environmental impact of concrete production is significant, but HS2 would require enormous quantities, for tunnels, slab track, viaducts, and so forth.

In July 2017 the government announced plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040. Accelerated change in the energy mix of road vehicles must further reduce the chances of HS2 ever achieving ‘CO2 neutrality’.

Written by beleben

November 28, 2017 at 11:27 am

Posted in HS2

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