Green group urges UK government to stop support for ‘wood-burning stoves’

In response to the London smog alert, the Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) is calling on the UK government to abolish all support for diesel engines and wood-burners which are posing a growing threat to the health of urban populations.

Unusually high amount of domestic wood burning, some of which are subsidised under the Renewable Heat Incentive, has been partly blamed for the latest smog alarm, according to the GWPF.

Wood-burning has been advocated and incentives by the Government as a policy to decarbonise the residential sector and has been increasing rapidly in recent years, largely due to a combination of green subsidies and climate campaigning.

As a result, there has been a deterioration of air quality in many cities which has contributed to the current smog hazard in London, the environmental group claims. Like wood-burning stoves, diesel engines have also been specifically encouraged by EU, and UK policies, in the interests of reduced CO2 emissions.

In a recent report, the Royal College of Physicians warned that “the increasing popularity of wood burning for heating, in part due to policies to reduce CO2 emissions, risks undoing some of the air quality improvements that have resulted from widespread adoption of gas for domestic heating”.

“The government has a responsibility to reduce the negative impact of wood-burning on health and should now abolish any support which is increasing the risk to the health and well-being of urban populations,” said Benny Peiser, director of the GWPF.

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