Get Your Jumpers Out Because London’s Mayor Is Proposing To Ban Fireplaces
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has suggested a plan to ban fireplaces and wood burning to help improve air quality. He's written to Environment Minister Michael Gove to seek new powers to enact the proposal, saying there are dozens of areas in the capital where air pollution exceeds European Union standards.
It would deal a huge blow to homeowners who rely on either fireplaces or wood burning stoves to keep their properties warm during the bitter winter months.
"One of the proposals for 2025 is having these very small zones to curb pollution caused by wood-burning stoves. It is one of a number of ideas and it would need legislation from government and it would be at least six years away from happening."
As a part of the proposal, there would be 'zero emission zones', which would completely ban the burning of coal or wood. The sale of wood-burning stoves would also be limited to ensure that only low-emitters would be available to the public. Figures obtained by The Times suggests there are already 1.5 million wood-burning stoves in Britain, with around 200,000 sold every year.
Additional information indicates there are nearly 200 pockets of England's capital which go over EU limits.
According to the Telegraph, wood burning is most popular in the south-east of the county, with 16 percent of residents chucking on a few logs to heat the house. Only about five percent of people in the north of England and Scotland use fireplaces or stoves - which is kind of surprising considering it's a hell of a lot colder up there.
The suggestion follows an article published in the British Medical Journal, which states that wood burning creates 2.4 times more PM2.5 pollution than vehicles. That type of pollution was reportedly responsible for 37,800 premature deaths in the UK in 2012.
A statement within the report reads: "The disproportionate amount of PM2.5 pollution from domestic wood burning continues to escape attention. Few people who install wood stoves are likely to understand that a single log-burning stove permitted in smokeless zones emits more PM2.5 per year than 1,000 petrol cars and has estimated health costs in urban areas of thousands of pounds per year."
The authors of that study are calling on policymakers to start looking into ways to curb the sale and emissions from wood-burning stoves and fireplaces.
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