Cities may have to ban wood burning stoves to drive down pollution, a government minister warned yesterday. The fashionable burners are said to be responsible for up to 40 per cent of fine particles known as PM2.5, the most damaging form of air pollution.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow was asked by MPs why the government did not make them illegal in cities, while allowing them in rural areas in homes not connected to gas. 'All these things will have to come under a microscope,' she told the Environment Food and Rural affairs select committee, also suggesting that barbecues at street markets could face a ban.
Around 1.5million UK homes are thought to have wood burning stoves and Bill Parish, air pollution head at the Defra ministry told the panel: 'It's difficult I think to impose a complete ban at this point.' But he added: 'If you wanted to drive down levels of particulates in London you'd have to take more action on domestic combustion.'
The Stove Industry Alliance disputes that 40 per cent of particulates come from wood burning stoves, saying that barbecues, firepits, pizza ovens and bonfires are also to blame.
Colin Fernandez Environment Correspondent, Daily Mail