As the Paris Agreement once again hits the news headlines, its worth pointing out that HS2 will lead to increased carbon emissions.
And in HS2 Ltd’s own documents they say HS2 will cause increased carbon emissions beyond 2086, with the possible payback time moving further into the future as HS2 plans solidify..
As with all HS2 Ltd documents that show up the scheme’s flaws, their information paper on carbon hides the fact that they expect HS2 to increase carbon before 2086 on page 5 of a 7 page document. And even then you have to know to compare numbers from one paragraph to numbers in another. The earlier pages cover such things as the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the Climate Change Act 2008 and the Climate Change Plan from 2011.
What’s really key is that HS2 may just about have broken even in 2146 (unless it hasn’t) – but even that depends on a whole load of circumstances that the paper admits are outside the control of HS2 Ltd and the Government, “related to the commercial decision of private companies, outside the direct control of both HS2 Ltd and the Government”.
And the really interesting thing there is that decisions being made by others are actually making High Speed Rail less favourable – for example by 2014 new car and van emissions were below their targets for 2015 and 2017 respectively.