Managing the global climate is a tough thing. Sacrifices are required.
The last 100 years has been a success story of cleaner air in London. But air pollution is on the rise again. The fear of carbon is partly responsible for over a million people returning to burning “renewable wood” instead of clean gas and turning around a century long trend. Welcome to the “progressive” 21st century. Too bad about about the dusty lungs and razed trees.
As much as a third of small particle pollution is due to wood fires.
Wood-burning stoves are increasingly popular in middle-class homes and hotels, with 1.5 million across Britain and 200,000 sold annually. Old fireplaces have also been opened up in many houses and can cause greater pollution than stoves. Wood burning is most popular in the southeast, where it is done in 16 per cent of households compared with less than 5 per cent in northern England and Scotland.
Between a quarter and a third of all fine particle pollution in London comes from domestic wood burning. During a period of very high air pollution in January, it contributed half the toxic emissions in some areas of the city, King’s College London found.
It is alleged that air pollution causes “9,500 early deaths a year in London and 40,000 across Britain”.
The GWPF issued a press release earlier this year saying Government Support For Wood-Burning Partly To Blame For Rising Smog Threat
Press Release, 24 January 2017 — In response to the London smog alert, the Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) is calling on the 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.
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. 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 Dr Benny Peiser, director of the GWPF.