Government consults on domestic burning of dirtier fuels

The UK Government is seeking views from householders and businesses on proposals to cut harmful emissions caused by the burning of dirtier fuels. It has launched a call for evidence […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The UK Government is seeking views from householders and businesses on proposals to cut harmful emissions caused by the burning of dirtier fuels.

It has launched a call for evidence on the use of house coal, smokeless coal, manufactured solid fuels and wet wood for domestic heating in an effort to reduce air pollution.

Official figures suggest domestic burning of these dirtier fuels is the single largest source of harmful particulate matter emissions in the UK, at around 40% of the total in 2015.

This compares with industrial combustion at 17% and road transport at 13%.

The tiny particles in smoke can enter the bloodstream and risk long term health issues as well as have more immediate impacts on some people such as breathing problems and asthma attacks.

The government is considering how to encourage consumers to move towards cleaner technologies – it plans to use the responses to feed into the Clean Air Strategy, which will be published later this year.

However, it is not considering banning domestic burning.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “We all have a role to play in improving the air we breathe. Many of us enjoy a cosy fire in our homes but burning dirtier fuel has a real impact on the quality of air for our family and friends around us.

“We must be mindful that pollution is about more than just transport. Poor air quality affects public health, the economy and the environment, which is why we are determined to do more. However, if we make the switch to burning cleaner domestic fuel, we can continue to enjoy burning wood and smokeless coal in stoves and fires in our homes.”

The consultation will close on 27th February 2018.