Hertfordshire County Council has Missed an Opportunity to Cut Fossil Fuel Use and Cut CO2 Emissions
Tory-run Hertfordshire County Council has missed the opportunity of a significant cut to their carbon emissions. The authority has announced that although it is changing the fuel used by its fire engines and other fire service vehicles it is not to switching them to electric power.
The change is only from diesel to "gas-to-liquid" (GTL) fuel, which the council says is cheaper than switching to electric vehicles. This will cut NOx emissions and PM2.5 particle emissions but there will only be a small reductionsof CO2 emissions, since GTL is derived from natural gas and still a fossil fuel.
Electric Fire Engine developed in Scotland
Liberal Democrat Environment spokesperson County Councillor Steve Jarvis said,
"Following the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report which emphasised just how vital it is that we all take steps to address the climate emergency, it is disappointing that the Herts County Council is taking such a limited step to cutting the Fire Service emissions.
What is even more concerning is that the Council is presenting this as a step away from using fossil fuels in the Fire Service which it certainly is not."
"Battery power for the large fire engines may not be feasible yet, but there are hybrid fire engines being planned or trialed in Amsterdam, Berlin and Australia and the smaller vehicles the fire service uses could be electric now.
Hertfordshire should be leading the way on this rather than taking such a tiny step forward."
The picture shows an Electric Fire Engine developed last year by e1 Group in Cumnock, Scotland with a government grant financing the design and construction of a working prototype.