Wood Burning Stoves Banned In London

London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s proposed ban on wood-burning stoves is a topic of debate in the UK. The ban will cover the most-polluted areas of London, but will not be enforced against private households. The ban will also only be in operation during certain times of the year.

Under the plans, the stoves would be occasionally banned from use in certain zones beginning in 2025 and UK-wide laws blocking the sale of all but the newest, cleanest stoves would begin in 2022.

In an attempt to reassure the thousands who bought the stoves in good faith, the focus will be on educating owners not to burn wood during bad air quality episodes. Authorities will reserve harsh enforcement for commercial users such as hotels.

There are about 1.5m stoves in the UK and 200,000 are sold annually, with the appliances often marketed as a green form of home heating.

However, there has been growing concern over their environmental impact, with research showing a steady increase in pollution percents coming from wood-burning.

Khan has called for greater powers from government to act on wood-burning after he discovered it contributed half of the pollution during a dirty air episode in January.

The Green party and campaigners said the mayor was right to tackle emissions from the stoves, saying that the stoves combined with diesel car emissions in winter create a “toxic soup”.

However, there are questions over how practical it would be to enforce the proposed ban.

The government warns of a £1,000 fine for people using unauthorized stoves.

The move could affect wood-burning stove owners beyond London, too. The mayor’s office said he supported the amendment being made in a way that such powers were given to all cities, not just the capital. Secondly, Khan is calling for new EU standards mandating cleaner, lower emission stoves to be brought in earlier than 2022, when they are planned to come into force. The Stove Industry Alliance said its members had begun selling “Ecodesign-ready” stoves in February.