HS2 sustainability hook

How does HS2 affect the environment?

7 million trees will be planted during Phase 1 of HS2.

Creating new woodland is part of the ethos of conserving, enhancing or replacing habitats. In such a large project changes to the environment are unavoidable as much as building methods may try to avoid it. So by carbon offsetting the construction and creating something new by planting trees and whole natural habitats, something good can come even from the restructuring of landscapes.

Sustainability at HS2 is about delivering social, environmental and economic benefits.

By creating such a sophisticated network of reliable travel to major cities, not only does this promote growth for Britain in an interconnected society in order to sustain long term travel options. It also aims to lower travel emissions, costs and time wasted commuting. As roads get busier and driving expensive, the option of a realistic reliable rail system promotes a sustainable option for the future.

  • Carbon Emissions

  • HS2 Phase 2 saves 7 million tonnes CO2e

In a report by the Greengauge21[1] using the HS2 rail today would save 73% carbon emissions from an equivalent journey by car, 76% by plane. This is primarily a result of the electrical energy of rail being decarbonised.

Even at the increased speed of HS2 (300-360km/h), it would only consume 23% more energy than a traditional slow rail service. Even then, the carbon footprint of passengers would be very similar as High Speed trains hold 1000 seats running often at 80% capacity resulting in more efficient overall journeys, currently impossible on existing railworks.

[1] The carbon impacts of High-Speed 2 was commissioned from Greengauge 21 by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), the Campaign for Better Transport and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).


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