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17 Jun 2021, 13:03
Edgar Meza

German railway accelerates transformation towards climate neutrality

Clean Energy Wire

Germany railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB) is aiming to become climate neutral a decade earlier than its previous 2050 target. Announcing its new 2040 target, the company said it would already be supplying 100 percent green electricity to its factories, office buildings and train stations by 2025. The 2040 plan includes all areas of the railway system in Germany as well as DB’s global logistics subsidiary, DB Schenker. In order to meet the goal, DB is also greening its heat supply by gradually replacing fossil fuels such as heating oil and natural gas and increase energy efficiency to also ensure lower consumption in the coming years. A comparison of the modes of transport in Germany shows that the railway has been the only one with a consistently positive climate balance since 1990, said DB CEO Richard Lutz. “In the past 30 years, the railways alone have been able to significantly reduce their CO2 emissions by around 70 percent.” DB is promoting alternative drives and fuels and partnering on technology-neutral pilot projects that focus on greener local transport by road and rail. Plans include converting DB buses to more climate-friendly fuels, building new infrastructure for battery-powered trains, supplying fuel cell trains with hydrogen and using synthetic fuels on road and rail. The digitalisation of the railways and technical upgrades will also help achieve the 2045 target.

The federal government has set 2045 as the country’s new climate neutrality goal. DB signed wind power supply deals with renewable energy supplier Statkraft in January and with utility RWE in April.

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