G7: UK can show international leadership by taking decisions on railway decarbonisation this year

11 June 2021

With national leaders from the G7 meeting today in Cornwall, the Railway Industry Association (RIA) has called for the UK to show global leadership on climate change by investing in rail decarbonisation.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “With the first day of the G7 Summit taking place today in Cornwall, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s call for a ‘Marshall Plan for climate change’ needs to be backed up with specific action.

“The Railway Industry Association and our members support the DfT’s work to cut emissions from transport, including developing a Transport Decarbonisation Plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. However, the most impactful action the Government can take as the UK hosts the G7, and also COP26 in the autumn, is to immediately kick-start a rolling programme of electrification and commit to fleet orders of hydrogen and battery powered trains, as we have been calling for in our RailDecarb21 campaign. At a time when the UK has 38% rail network electrification and other G7 countries like Germany have over 60%,  the Government really can show genuine leadership to its international partners if it takes up the cudgels on this straight away.

“By acting strongly and decisively in 2021, rail will not only help the UK to achieve its green transport ambitions, but it will also give more weight to the Government’s call for other countries to follow suit when it comes to decarbonising their transport networks around the world.”

Notes to Editors


  1. More information about the campaign can be found here
  2. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. RIA has some 300 companies in membership in a sector that contributes £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people—more than the workforce of Birmingham. It is also a vital industry for the UK’s economic recovery, supporting green investment and jobs in towns and communities across the UK. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number). RIA works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe and to share best practice and innovation across the industry.

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