Published on 22 May 2018, the draft Clean Air Strategy sets out how the Government is going to move forward with reducing air pollution in the UK. It considers many sectors and covers reducing the air pollution of cars, industry, farms, planes, shipping and homes. The draft document is open for public consultation and will be tweaked before an official launch next year. We’ve taken some of the highlights from the strategy and summarised them here.
Targeting wood burning stoves
It’s predicted that 31% of London’s Particulate Matter pollution comes from open fires and wood burners, even though London is a smoke free zone. Local authorities are supposed to enforce this.
Phase out coal and oil heating
The use of oil burners and coal fireplaces will be phased out, possibly by offering grants to replace coal fireplaces with wood burners, and oil for biomass.
Biomass could be removed from RHI payments
Biomass boilers currently qualify for Renewable Heat Incentive grants because of their low CO2 emissions. However, they do give off sulphur dioxide and particulate matter. It is proposed the RHI grant is scrapped for sites that have access to mains gas.
Introduce Smoke Control Areas
Local Authorities can create Smoke Control Areas where there is a need for better monitoring and 28 will be required to create local plans to address air quality. Tackling pollution from our roads is considered the big priority. A new independent body will hold Government and local authorities to account post-Brexit.
Have your say
Wood burning stoves are in fashion; how will tighter restrictions work in both the new build and renovation market? Builders in remote locations use oil heating when gas isn’t available so if this option is phased out, they will have to turn to biomass or heat pumps. Have your say in the public consultation now: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/environmental-quality/clean-air-strategy-consultation/