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Former Welsh Rugby Union Captain calls on Wales to cut its carbon footprint

Rugby legend, JPR Williams is calling on householders to help Wales become a low carbon nation by making the change to wood fuel, a cleaner, greener and more efficient way of heating the home.

The former WRU and British Lions star, who has been using a wood burning  stove to heat his home in the Vale of Glamorgan for the past nine years, is backing a new campaign by Woodfuel Wales, the Welsh Government funded body which represents all sectors of the Welsh wood fuel industry.

The campaign is encouraging people to use wood as a more carbon-friendly way of fuelling the home and follows reports released by the Welsh Government last year showing that Wales was almost half way towards reaching its 2015 target of reducing carbon emissions by 40%.

The call by JPR Williams comes as Wales gears up for the start of the much anticipated Six Nations tournament next month. The former captain is appealing for people to focus on supporting the nation’s future as well as its team: “Wales is a passionate nation and when we get behind something we have the power to make great things happen”.

“If the Welsh nation could use even a quarter of the support it gives our national rugby team and put it towards protecting its environmental future then we would be well on our way to preserving our beautiful country for generations to come.

“I have used wood fuel to heat my entire home for many years now and I know that our heating supply comes from a reliable source. We buy our logs from a company based just six miles away helping to keep our carbon footprint low while also supporting a local industry and jobs.

“Wood fuel works for us and we feel like we’re doing our bit for the environment. I hope my showing of support can help make people sit up and realise how wood fuel can help make a real difference to Wales long into the future.”

According to Woodfuel Wales, using wood as a form of fuel is one of the best ways people can reduce their carbon footprint and help slow down the effect of climate change, as Nic Snell, Chair of Woodfuel Wales, explains: “The greenhouse gases we all produce through our day-to-day activities including the way we heat our homes are all factors contributing to climate change.

“Wood is a carbon neutral fuel that is greener and more sustainable than any other form of non-renewable fuel. It can offer savings in terms of energy efficiency and we have a plentiful, sustainable resource here in Wales.”

Woodfuel Wales also claims more people are realising the benefits of switching to wood, as official member statistics released by The Stove Industry Alliance in autumn 2011 showed a 32% growth (year on year) in the sales of wood burning stoves (October 2010-2011).

Nic Snell continued: “As prices for oil and gas have risen in the past year, we and our members are seeing that wood fuel is being viewed as a more viable option than ever. Over the next decade, we can expect demand for wood fuel to grow as fossil fuels deplete, making people realise that Welsh forestry provides one of the best renewable energy resource in Wales.”

For further information, visit www.woodfuelwales.org.uk.

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