Train travelling over a viaduct

Network Rail joins international climate change commitment

Signing a climate declaration set up by the International Union of Railways (UIC), Network Rail has further committed to ambitions to provide a better, greener railway in the UK.

The UIC declaration sets out a pledge for members to communicate their support and ambition, and brings together a global community of sustainability leaders working collaboratively to cut carbon emissions and make rail travel greener.

As the latest signatory, the UK rail infrastructure operator has pledged to reduce its energy consumption and CO2 emissions, achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and contribute towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Network Rail had already signalled its green ambitions in October 2020, when it became the first railway in the world to commit to ambitious, science-based targets for carbon reduction.

The signing of the international climate declaration also comes following the launch of Network Rail’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy, which provides a clear path to becoming carbon neutral by 2050 in line with UK Government targets.

Within the strategy, it outlines the company’s main priorities: to run a low-emission railway, provide a reliable service to passengers that is resilient to climate change, improve biodiversity across the network and ensure sustainable use of materials with minimal waste.

Martin Frobisher OBE, Director of Safety, Technical and Engineering at Network Rail, said: “We’re delighted to be joining a number of like-minded organisations from around the world in committing to the UIC Climate declaration. It’s a great opportunity to work alongside international partners, share best practice and work collaboratively towards the common goal of decarbonising rail.

“We’re making terrific progress and of course, rail has good credentials as an emissions-friendly form of mass transport, but there is still a lot more we have to do in the coming years to leave a positive environmental legacy for future generations and enable rail to playing a leading role in driving green economic growth.”

François Davenne, Director General of International Union of Railways (UIC) added: “With 2021 marking UIC’s centenary, the commitment of our members to the UIC pledge becomes increasingly important and structured.

“Network Rail is one of the most innovative infrastructure managers and will give its full commitment to this process.

“I am struck by the fact that among our members there is an increasingly strong sense of urgency. As we know, we have 10 years to demonstrate that rail is the solution to implement a paradigm shift for a low-carbon transport sector.”

Join us on October 21, 2021 for a RTM virtual event about delivering a clean rail industry. Register for the event here.

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