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CN commits to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050


CN today announced it has signed the "Business Ambition for 1.5°C" pledge, and has joined the  net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The 1.5°C scenario is the concept that global warming could be limited to only a 1.5° Celsuis increase by sharply reducing carbon emissions and fossil fuels usage, as well as building more alternatives to produce renewable energy, among other measures to protect the environment.

CN is the first North American railroad to commit to the Business Ambition and join the United Nations’ Race to Zero campaign, CN officials said in a press release.

CN recently purchased a battery-electric locomotive for a joint pilot program and has announced other relevant partnerships that seek to minimize the environmental impacts of CN operations. CN first set an approved science-based target in 2017, which was reaffirmed earlier this year. 

In April, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) approved CN’s pledge to reduce scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 43% per million gross ton miles by 2030 from a 2019 base year, and to reduce scope 3 GHG emissions from fuel- and energy-related activities by 40% per million gross ton miles by 2030 from a 2019 base year.

The company will focus on five key initiatives to meet its goals: investing in locomotive fleet renewals; increasing the use of fuel-efficient technologies; leveraging big data analytics; enhancing operating practices; and expanding the use of cleaner fuels.

"CN has a strong track record of fuel and carbon efficiency and, in 2020, achieved its best locomotive fuel efficiency ever — over 4% better than the previous record set in 2019 — which avoided approximately 275,000 tonnes of emissions," said CN President and CEO Jean-Jacques Ruest. "We will continue to decarbonize our operations and, in turn, will enable our customers to reduce their transportation supply chain emissions."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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