Michael Gove to ban most polluting wood stoves and open fires

Michael Gove to ban most-polluting wood stoves and open fires

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced a new Clean Air Strategy including the ban of 'high-polluting' wood stoves by 2020.

Monday, January 14, 2019

The most polluting log burners and stoves will be banned as part of a strategy to tackle air pollution, the Environment Secretary has announced.

Michael Gove has set out plans to reduce people’s exposure to particulate matter – considered the most damaging pollutant.

The Government’s Clean Air Strategy includes plans to ban the sale of the most polluting fuels by 2022.

Stoves and open fires are now the single biggest source of particulate matter emissions, according to the Department for the Environment.

It intends to limit the sales of wet wood for domestic burning and apply sulphur and smoke emission limits to all solid fuels.

Ministers predict that the measures will save the UK £1.7bn in the cost of air pollution every year by 2020. This is expected to rise to £5.3bn every year by 2030.


'Strong, urgent action'

The UK was praised by the World Health Organisation for being the first major economy to adopt their recommendations.

The UN agency described the Clean Air Strategy as “an example for the rest of the world to follow”.

Launching the plans, Mr Gove said: "The evidence is clear. While air quality has improved significantly in recent years, air pollution continues to shorten lives, harm our children and reduce quality of life.

"We must take strong, urgent action. Our ambitious strategy includes new targets, new powers for local government and confirms that our forthcoming Environment Bill will include new primary legislation on air quality.

"While air pollution may conjure images of traffic jams and exhaust fumes, transport is only one part of the story and the new strategy sets out the important role all of us - across all sectors of work and society - can play in reducing emissions and cleaning up our air to protect our health."

Greenpeace campaigner Rosie Rogers described the strategy as a "mixed bag". 

She told talkRADIO's Matthew Wright: "He talks a big talk on ambition and where they want to go but they don't have tangible measures and any real solutions on how to get there.

"We are now in a situation where the Government has been taken to court three times over failing to protect people over air pollution. So they have not got a good record."