Wood-burning stoves could be banned in some areas to combat air pollution under proposals by the London mayor, Sadiq Khan.
Under the proposals, wood-burning stoves would be banned in urban areas with poor air quality. In recent years, wood-burning stoves have increased in popularity with 1.5m sold across Britain (they are most popular in south-east England, where 16% of households have them, compared with 5% nationally).
Between a quarter and a third of all of London’s fine-particle pollution is estimated to come from domestic wood burning. Khan said: “Non-transport sources contribute half of the deadly emissions in London, so we need a hard-hitting plan of action to combat them similar to moves I am taking to reduce pollution from road vehicles.”
“With more than 400 schools located in areas exceeding legal pollution levels, and such significant health impacts on our most vulnerable communities, we cannot wait any longer, and I am calling on government to provide the capital with the necessary powers to effectively tackle harmful emissions from a variety of sources.”
The mayor has asked the environment department to amend the Clean Air Act to allow for the creation of zero-emission zones where the burning of solid fuel is not allowed from 2025 on-wards.
A Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) spokesperson told the Guardian: “We are determined to improve air quality and have put in place a £3bn plan to reduce roadside emissions.”
“Next year we will publish a comprehensive Clean Air Strategy which will address all sources of air pollution. We are also raising consumer awareness about the impact of burning wood on health and working with industry to help reduce harmful emissions.”
London’s emergency air quality alert was triggered last week for the seventh time in thirteen months. Polluted air from the continent combined with toxic air in London to create dangerous levels of pollution.
[Source: The Guardian]