MPs on HS2 route write to Transport Secretary requesting adoption of 100% renewable diesel during construction of Phase 1

Diesel-powered generators and vehicles are expected to run 24/7 for the next two decades on HS2 construction sites

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has today received a letter from a cross-party group of MPs, calling for the ‘maximum possible reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution from the use of diesel’, and recommends the Government direct HS2 Ltd to ‘remove fossil fuel derived diesel from its supply chains and switch to 100% renewable waste-derived diesel’.


MP’s representing constituencies covering three quarters of the HS2 route (100 miles out of 134) have signed the letter alongside other senior political figures including the former Tory Leader, Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP. Many of the constituencies on the HS2 route are rural and semi-rural, and the MPs are urging Government to help guarantee air quality, reduce pollution, and support better respiratory health for local residents as well as the many construction site workers.


Citing independent data on GREEND+, a renewable and sustainable biofuel that can be used in any diesel engine, the letter points to immediately achievable CO2e reductions of up to 90%. The estimated annual C02e emissions of HS2 are 1,450,900 tonnes. Through replacing regular fossil diesel with the use of GREEND+ CO2e emissions will be reduced by 282,000 tonnes per year or approx. 20%. The Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Respiratory Health has also supported the letter as has the former HS2 Minister and DEFRA Secretary.


HS2 and its supply chain is projected to use 500 million litres of diesel over five years on a 24/7 basis for vehicle movements, fuelling construction equipment, and powering generators where stand-alone power generation is required. GREEND+ reduces NOx emissions up to 30%, and air particulates by up to 85%, and saves 2.82 kg of CO2e per litre of diesel being replaced.


Green Biofuels has seen a significant uptake in the use of advanced fuels such as GREEND+ over the past 12 months by clients who are commiteed to making a difference now. The use of GREEND+ in the construction industry over this period has positively impacted local air quality through reducing NOx and Particualte matter and in addition has resuted in a saving of 25,237,175kg of CO2e. 


In total, 12 cross party MPs have signed the letter. Alongside Sir Iain Duncan Smith is a former DEFRA and BEIS Secretary, and MP’s who represent constituencies with the longest sections of HS2 route and those most affected by air quality challenges.  


William Tebbit, CEO of Green Biofuels, said: “We applaud our clients whose actions support their words and stated aims to improve air quality and reduce C02e. Today, GREEND+ is already used across a variety of projects, including off-road vehicles, on-road transport, and energy generation. We are now calling on infrastructure developments, such as HS2, to take the opportunity and fulfil their duty to use readily available cleaner alternative fuels to complement their sustainability pledges. 

“It is imperative we work in collaboration to tackle the climate crisis, and many companies have already begun integrating alternative fuels into their procurement practices. We fully support new technologies that seek to improve air quality and reduce CO2e and allow companies to leave dirty diesel behind. 

GREEND+ is a transition technology that is being widely adopted by businesses that are committed to taking action today. GREEND+ which is available in scale through our extensive supply network immediately improves air quality and reduces C02e when used in existing diesel engines including those powering commercial vehicles, plant and machinery, temporary and mobile generators, diesel trains and marine uses. 

“GREEND+ provides a runway for new technologies to be developed and deployed when commercially viable and available in scale thereby ensuring the most appropriate technologies are developed in the most cost effective way. 

“Our customers have already seen the way the tide is turning and made a commitment to make the change. This issue does not require legislative intervention, we just need to see action coupled with words coming from companies about bringing our CO2 emission savings forward and improving air quality for ourselves and future generations.” 

The MPs who have signed the letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP are listed below. Their respective and relevant political histories are included where relevant as well as the distances of HS2 (Phase 1) represented in some of their constituencies.

Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP

CON, South Northamptonshire (12.9 miles of HS2)

(DEFRA Secretary 2016-17, BEIS Secretary 2019-20)


Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP        

CON, (DEFRA Secretary 2019-20, HS2/Rail Minister 2010-12)


Rt Hon Jeremy Wright QC MP

CON, Kenilworth and Southam (18.6 miles of HS2)

(Attorney General 2014-18, DCMS Secretary 2018-9)        


Craig Tracey MP

CON, North Warwickshire (28.1 miles of HS2)    


Greg Smith MP        

CON, Buckingham (19.3 miles of HS2)            


Rt Hon Dame Cheryl Gillan MP

CON, Chesham and Amersham (11.3  miles of HS2)

(Chair, Conservative 1922 Committee – 2019, Secretary of State for Wales 2010-12)


Rob Butler MP

CON, Aylesbury (5.9 miles of HS2)


David Simmonds MP

CON, Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner (3 miles of HS2)        


Jim Shannon MP

DUP, (Chair, APPG on Respiratory Health)


Barry Sheerman MP        

LAB, (Founder, Westminster Commission for Road Air Quality)


Robert Halfon MP        

CON, (Chair, APPG on Fair Fuel for UK Motorists and UK Hauliers)


Rt Hon Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP  

CON, (Leader of the Conservative Party, 2001-02)