HS2 Will Never Be Carbon Neutral, Here's How To Stop It
What you need to know about the environmentally disastrous railway line
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The UK government is hell-bent on spending £100 billion it doesn’t have on a useless and environmentally disastrous railway line—while the country already faces a ruined economy.
The government is touting HS2 as a climate-friendly project that will take cars off the road, but the construction is hugely carbon-intensive and the company behind the project admitted it would never become carbon neutral over its 120-year projected lifetime. Furthermore, the government’s own statistics say HS2 will only divert 1 percent of air traffic and 4 percent of car traffic on the affected route. And that’s before the pandemic made the country and the whole world more local.
If you thought that was bad, building HS2 will also decimate delicate ecosystems across the country, including 108 ancient woods, 693 wildlife sites, and even some internationally protected wildlife sites. Human life will be upended too: 2,000 homes and 19,500 jobs will be disturbed or lost due to displacement.
It’s a disaster for humans and nonhumans alike, and the government just greenlit the next phase. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment: together, through the power of coalition, we can stop HS2.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
- studies show that constructing HS2 will add to the climate budget until 2050, and there's no clear sense of the climate outcome after that.
- Wildlife: building HS2 will destroy “five internationally protected wildlife sites, 693 local wildlife sites, 108 ancient woodlands and 33 legally protected sites of special scientific interest,” The Guardian reports.
- Economic justice: the NHS has been underfunded for a decade, the country faces an unemployment crisis, and economists predict shrinkage of the economy in the wake of Brexit. The British people need immediate investment in public services, not useless new train lines that will destroy homes and jobs.
HOW TO TAKE ACTION: FROM HOME
HS2 Rebellion is a coalition of groups and individuals campaigning against HS2. Check out their suggestions for getting active from home, including social media actions, filing complaints directly with HS2 and its contractors, contacting politicians, and more.
National campaign group Stop HS2 also offers a ton of ideas for getting active from home, including writing to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and your MP, joining online discussions, and downloading posters from their toolbox for public display.
HOW TO TAKE ACTION: ON THE FRONTLINES
Local communities around the UK have been rising up and coming together in coalition against HS2 for years. You can join one of the many camps on the projected HS2 route using the map below.