Wood-burning Stoves: Air Pollution

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 16 November 2023.

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Photo of Julian Sturdy Julian Sturdy Conservative, York Outer

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to tackle air pollution from log burners.

Photo of Robbie Moore Robbie Moore The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Air quality is a devolved matter. In England, regulations introduced in 2020 put restrictions on the sale of wet wood for domestic burning, placed limits on the emission of sulphur and smoke from manufactured solid fuels and phased out the sale of bituminous coal (traditional house coal). Through the Environment Act 2021, we also introduced measures to streamline the enforcement of Smoke Control Areas (SCAs).

Since 1 January 2022 all stoves placed on the market in the United Kingdom must be Ecodesign compliant. This is in addition to the separate requirement in Smoke Control Areas (SCAs) that householders can only burn approved fuels or use a Defra exempt appliance.

The Environment Improvement Plan sets out further measures to reduce domestic combustion emissions. These include:

  • Publishing outdoor burning best practice guidance
  • Extending the solid fuels legislation, including to fuels burned outside
  • Tightening the limits that new stoves in SCAs must meet
  • Driving a shift away from older, more polluting appliances to newer appliances which meet our tough new emission standards;
  • Continuing our targeted communications campaign to promote best practice when burning

As set out in our recent Air Quality Strategy, we also continue to work with local authorities to help them tackle emissions from domestic combustion in their communities. This includes funding relevant local projects through our 2023/24 Air Quality Grant.

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