U.S. passenger rail operator Amtrak announced today a new commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its network by 2045.
According to Amtrak, funds from the recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help the railway towards reaching its target, by helping the company procure a more sustainable fleet and make improvements to its older assets.
Amtrak President Roger Harris said:
“We are seeing a new generation of travelers who are conscious of their environmental impact. This is providing a significant opportunity to attract rail riders well into the future.”
Amtrak outlined initiatives it will purse in its efforts to reach its net zero goal, beginning with increasing energy efficiency, and followed by the implementation of renewable fuels and energy. Additionally, the company said that it aims to reduce diesel fuel usage through advanced technologies, exploring areas such as fuel cells, hydrogen, batteries and other zero emission technologies.
The new commitment follows Amtrak’s recent pledge to reduce 40% of Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions, and to fully transition all electricity to carbon-free sources by 2030. Scope 1 emissions constitute the majority of this footprint, and are largely the result of diesel fuel usage.
Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner said:
“Not only are trains convenient and comfortable, they are also one of the most sustainable modes of transportation. With new equipment, modernized stations and net zero emissions, Amtrak can lead the drive toward sustainable transportation throughout the nation.”
Commenting on the rail operator’s new net zero goal, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said:
“We congratulate Amtrak for this ambitious commitment to further reduce its carbon footprint, cementing its place as a leader in the clean transportation revolution. As we continue working to implement President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we look forward to working with Amtrak to demonstrate the key role of passenger rail in fighting climate change.”