Russian Railways allocated 5 billion roubles for environmental protection in 2017 as "Year of the Environment"
"Environmental policy is a priority and is incorporated into all Company policy documents," said Oleg Belozerov, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Russian Railways.
Belozerov was speaking at the plenary session of "Transport of Russia: In Harmony with Nature" in the framework of "Transport Week," which is being held in Moscow.
"Today, everyone knows that the transport sector contributes almost 30% to the greenhouse effect. But Russia’s railways account for only 1% of CO2 emissions out of the total volume of the "greenhouse cloud" created by transport as a whole," said the head of Russian Railways.
According to Belozerov, railway transport has long been using the cleanest source of energy, namely electricity. Today, Russian Railways transports more than 86% of its freight and 85% of its passengers using electric traction. For example, one passenger travelling from St. Petersburg to Moscow by train emits 2.5 times less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than by going by bus, and almost 4 times less than by plane.
"We clearly understand that both today and in the future, those modes of transport that are as environmentally friendly as possible are the most competitive. These are not just words, but the real economy," said Oleg Belozerov.
Belozerov also said that due to the modern Lastochka electric trains and an intelligent traffic control system on the Moscow Central Ring, the volume of recovered (recycled) energy reaches 50 percent or more.
Oleg Belozerov emphasised that the use of electric traction makes it possible to cut expenditure by almost 30%. In the near future, OJSC Russian Railways plans to increase the length of electrified lines by another 6,000 km, including on the Baikal-Amur Mainline.
"Now we use almost 2.5 million tons of diesel fuel, but we want to reduce its consumption to less than 2 million tons per year in the near future, which will also contribute to a very serious reduction of greenhouse gas emissions," said the Company CEO.
In cooperation with domestic machine builders, Russian Railways also develops locomotives using new types of traction. A unique gas-turbine locomotive has been designed which has passed the full cycle of tests, been certified and now runs successfully on Sverdlovsk Railways.
According to Oleg Belozerov, special attention is also paid to liquidating environmental damage which occurred previously, before the establishment of OJSC Russian Railways.
In 2017 alone, as part of the Year of the Environment, the Company has financed various environmental projects and work at a cost of 5 billion roubles, including those related to environmental damage caused previously.