The Welsh Government has been accused of hypocrisy over its environmental & clean air policies by using diesel powered ministerial limousines rather than hybrid models.
Welsh Conservatives renewed calls for the Welsh Government to scrap its ministerial limousines after it was revealed they are all fuelled by diesel.
Responding to a Written Assembly Question from Andrew RT Davies, the First Minister Carwyn Jones confirmed that all 12 vehicles in the ministerial fleet are diesel powered – a fuel which causes more than four times the pollution of petrol.
David Melding AM – the Welsh Conservatives’ Shadow Secretary for Environment and Sustainability – said the Welsh Government should “lead by example in the fight against air pollution” by replacing the cars for hybrid vehicles when the lease contract is next renewed.
Maintaining the diesel fleet, Mr Melding said, was “no longer a credible option” for the Welsh Government.
Air pollution is worse in Wales than all of the devolved nations, according to a joint finding by Public Health Wales and the Air Quality Management Resource Centre.
Wales is also home to the most polluted area outside London; the A472 Hafodyrynys Road between Pontypool and Crumlin has the highest level of Nitrogen Oxide (NO²) in the country.
The UK Conservative Government last year set out its strategy to reduce air pollution in which lay a commitment to ban petrol and Diesel cars by 2040.
David Melding AM said, “The Welsh Government has a clear role to play in educating the public about the causes and harm of air pollution.
“But the impact of their messaging is clearly undermined by the revelation that all 12 of its ministerial limousines run on diesel fuel, the long-term exposure to which can cause a host of serious respiratory illnesses.
“While the harm of these particular cars to public health and the environment is by itself insignificant, the symbolic significance of the Welsh Government’s continued use of these vehicles cannot be ignored, and invites obvious accusations of hypocrisy.
“I urge the Welsh Government to lead by example in the fight against air pollution. A good start would be to replace these vehicles with hybrids when the current lease contract expires.
“Continuing to use these high pollutant vehicles is simply no longer a credible option for the Welsh Government.”