Herts County Council has announced that it is changing the fuel used by its fire engines and other fire service vehicles but has missed the opportunity to cut their carbon emissions. The change is from diesel to "gas-to-liquid" (GTL) fuel, which the council says is cheaper than switching to electric vehicles, will cut NOx emissions but do little for CO2 emissions since GTL is a fossil fuel made from natural gas.
Liberal Democrat Environment spokesperson County Councillor Steve Jarvis said, "Following the IPCC report which emphasised just how vital it is that we all take steps to address the climate emergency it is disappointing that the 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 trialled 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."