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How is HS2 a ‘pro climate project’?

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HS2 is ‘the most pro climate project this country currently has’ according to the former chief of the Strategic Rail Authority, Richard Bowker. He suggested that opponents of the scheme consult Greengauge 21’s article ‘HSR and Carbon Emissions‘ (28 September, 2010).

twitter, @SRichardBowker, 'I did not say HS2 Ltd had explained their proposition correctly. Their PR has been woeful for years as regularly highlighted by @rail  and others. They should have explained one of the biggest benefits is freeing up capacity on the current rail network to facilitate modal shift.'

Mr Bowker appears to be unaware that (a) HS2 is expected to increase rather than reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and (b) in many cases, ‘information’ provided by Greengauge 21 turns out to lack accuracy and credibility. For example, according to the Greengauge article referenced by Mr Bowker, the carbon emissions from the construction of a HS2 line between London and West Midlands would be in the region of 1.2 million tonnes.

According to Greengauge 21 (28 Sep 2010), the carbon emissions from the construction of a HS2 line between London and West Midlands would be in the region of 1.2 million tonnes

[GG21, HSR and Carbon Emissions (28 September, 2010)]

There will also be carbon emissions from the construction of any HSR line, estimated at around 1.2 million tonnes of carbon for a London – West Midlands route.

But according to HS2 Ltd, the construction carbon footprint (CO2e) is estimated to range between 5.755 million and 6.125 million tonnes.

HS2 Ltd estimate of phase one carbon construction footprint (23 Feb 2017)

[HS2, HIGH SPEED TWO PHASE ONE INFORMATION PAPER E10: CARBON (Version 1.7, Last updated 23rd February 2017)]

[6.3] Nevertheless, the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the construction of the Proposed Scheme are significant, as might be expected from a national level infrastructure scheme. The construction carbon footprint is estimated to range between 5,755,000 tCO2e and 6,125,000 tCO2e[…]

Written by beleben

October 17, 2019 at 11:51 am

Posted in HS2, Politics

One Response

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  1. Difficult to access negative impacts on the environment.If it does not persuade people to leave the car at home then it can be argued that it fails the carbon costs test.
    But building homes for the homeless,new hospitals,new power plants,water reservoirs etc have negative carbon cost impacts.
    So when do we start migrating to the caves?
    Advocating new infrastructure might seem counter intuitive but if it enables us to reduce overall carbon costs then we should support it .

    david gaule

    October 17, 2019 at 12:45 pm


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