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Travel: Carbon Emissions

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what estimate his Department has made of the carbon emissions which would be caused by a journey from (a) Glasgow and (b) Edinburgh to London using a high-speed rail service; (145761)

(2) what estimate his Department has made of the carbon emissions caused by a journey from (a) Glasgow and (b) Edinburgh to London by aeroplane.

The Department estimates that the per passenger carbon emissions for a journey between London and Edinburgh will be approximately 8 kg carbon for conventional speed rail, 17 kg carbon for high speed rail, and 26 kg carbon for aviation. Passenger carbon emissions are likely to be similar between Glasgow and London.

These rail estimates assume an approximate 600 km distance, current electricity generation mix, average intercity train occupancy of 38 per cent., and the same number of passengers using a high speed rail service as the conventional rail service. The estimates will be sensitive to these assumptions.

The estimate for air is based on Department for Environmental Food and Rural Affairs estimates of average per passenger kilometre emissions for domestic flights.1 Estimates of rail carbon emissions are based on estimates by Professor Roger Kemp of Lancaster University2 and Department for Transport modelling.

1 DEFRA. Guidelines to DEFRA’s Greenhouse Gas Conversion Factors for Company Reporting, (2007)

2 Interfleet Traction Energy Metrics (2007)