The UK’s Network Rail has committed to reducing emissions aligned with the Paris Agreement that seeks to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

According to the company, an independent organisation called the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) has verified Network Rail’s sustainability targets and plans to achieve them.

The railway company aims to reduce its absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emission by 46% by 2029. In the same period, Network Rail seeks to lower its absolute scope 3 indirect emissions by 28%.

Furthermore, it will work with its supply chain, including manufacturing and construction companies, and will help them to set their individual targets to reduce emissions.

Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said: “Rail is already the cleanest and greenest mode of transporting large numbers of people and goods, but we’re committed to cutting our carbon footprint even further.

“That’s why we’ve set carbon reduction targets backed by science rather than simply ones we think are easy to achieve. We are the first railway in the world to set targets that will help limit global warming to 1.5°C and this shows our commitment to change.

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“We’re on an important journey to support the government’s target of being net-zero by 2050, to help the country build back better as we recover from the pandemic and to help passengers and freight users make the greenest choices they can.”

The company has already started working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Currently, all its stations, depots and offices are powered by renewable energy. Network Rail is also piloting the use of electric vehicles for rail maintenance work.