Climate Crusader UK PM Boris Johnson to Ban Household Coal

Ban Household Coal. Original Image diddi4 / CC0, Modified

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

In a move which will have dire consequences for poor people, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Government has announced a ban in household coal supplies.

House coal and wet wood to be phased out by 2023 to cut pollution

Plans to phase out the sale of house coal and wet wood have been confirmed as part of efforts to tackle tiny particle pollutants known as PM2.5, which can penetrate deep into lungs and the blood and cause serious health problems.

Sales of two of the most polluting fuels, wet wood and house coal, will be phased out from 2021 to 2023, to give householders and suppliers time to move to cleaner alternatives such as dry wood and manufactured solid fuels.

These produce less smoke and pollution, and are cheaper and more efficient to burn, officials said.

The environment secretary, George Eustice, said: “Cosy open fires and wood-burning stoves are at the heart of many homes up and down the country, but the use of certain fuels means that they are also the biggest source of the most harmful pollutant that is affecting people in the UK.

“By moving towards the use of cleaner fuels such as dry wood we can all play a part in improving the health of millions of people. This is the latest step in delivering on the challenge we set ourselves in our world-leading clean air strategy.

“We will continue to be ambitious and innovative in tackling air pollution from all sources as we work towards our goal to halve the harm to human health from air pollution by 2030.”

Sales of all bagged traditional house coal will be phased out by February 2021, and the sale of loose coal direct to customers via approved coal merchants will end by February 2023.

Read more:

PM2.5 might or might not be bad for your health, but hypothermia will kill you faster.

The reason British people burn nasty, smokey green wood and coal is they can’t afford anything else.

This new law is Boris Johnson’s “let them eat cake” moment. I doubt Boris and his elitist friends have ever experienced the stress of struggling to pay for home heating; it doesn’t occur to him that some people might not be able to afford those neat but expensive little plastic packets of processed wood. Or maybe he doesn’t care.

Some people might be able to solve their home heating affordability problem by leaving Britain. But for people who stay in the UK, and the many people already struggling with soaring fuel poverty, I have no doubt that for some of them this insensitive new law will be a death sentence.

157 thoughts on “Climate Crusader UK PM Boris Johnson to Ban Household Coal

  1. Personally I don’t have an issue they have banned it, the issue to me is they haven’t provided assistance and alternatives to the poor. That side it seems to be typical of green policies we just ban X but not deal with the consequences on the people it impacts. These groups keep claiming they are fair and just but there actions are anything but that.

    • Coal was banned and replaced with smokeless coal back in the 70s when air quality was an actual problem. Then gas came along. Gas is being phased out in favour of wood burnt generated electricity WAAAAYYYY north of London. Battersea power station was closed in the 1980’s in favour of Londoners importing power from other shires. Sounds a bit like New York.

      • The UK Clean Air Act was first introduced in 1956, after London Smog did kill thousands.

        This is an anti Country dwellers action. Those in the country have been loyal Tory voters since they got the vote, killing them off by fuel poverty doesn’t seem like a good plan

      • Battersea would not have specifically powered the local (London) area. All UK main generators are connected to the National Grid and consumers draw from it anywhere in the country. It is true that historically the bulk of UK generation was supplied from the Midlands and the North because that is where the coal mines were. It was essential to boost 400kv voltage to cater for long line losses as the power headed south. Gas is not being phased out as yet (?) and remains the core back-up to unreliable wind energy. The only real wood burning power station is the former coal-burner Drax (Yorkshire) which receives the pelleted fuel from North America. Madness

        • No one with any sense burn “wet wood”, you don’t even get half the calorific value out of burning it. I’m guessing that what “wet wood” means here is real wood as opposed to kiln dried, processed wood pellets. ( Electrically dried wood would be a better term ).

          If they want to stop people being sold green “wet wood” they should introduce standards so that customers know what they are buying. Much wood is burnt before being thoroughly dried because it requires years of storage and most consumer buy to burn.

          Ensuring people got sold dry wood would increase the yield considerably.

          • I agree. People don’t willingly burn wet wood as it burns poorly and creosotes chimneys. The marketplace solves this problem as, in Canada at least, people are very wary of burning green wood. I think the “wet wood” terminology is another example of preemptive marketing to create the illusion that there is a problem where none exists. For example, if your agenda is to destroy livestock farming, you publicise methane emissions from cattle, without regard for the approximately equal numbers of visent/bison/aurochs that existed prior to agriculture. Shaping the language is a common tool of the green deep state.

          • BCBILL says “I agree. People don’t willingly burn wet wood as it burns poorly and creosotes chimneys. ” That was proven wrong years ago. creosotes build up by incomplete burning which is cause most of the time not enough air. Of course most old stoves control how much heat they put out via controlling the air. Most stoves sold in the US no longer allow you to change how much air they draw, so they burn cleanly no matter what the fuel(you control what they put our by what you put in, they will burn a single piece completely as well as a phone book. Haven burn green wood out of need years ago I did not have a creosote build up because I burned it with lots of air. I need the heat the house I owned was build in the 1890 and did have much insulation in it if any, a 250,000 BTU gas furnace would run continually in -10 F and below temperatures.

        • I wouldn’t say that was true considering in addition to Battersea there were power stations at Wandsworth, Bankside and Croydon with LUL also having a plant at Lots Road. All of these have been closed.

      • Patrick MJD

        Unfortunately the terms are misleading. “Coal” is not a single things and “smokeless coal” is a lie, from the point of view that coal does not contain any smoke in the first place. Good grief what a mess of misinformation we must sift through these days.

        First: Eric W, that is not a photo of coal burning, it is charcoal briquettes made from infinitely renewable and sustainable wood. Here is the original photo from which the site you linked got it, and misrepresented it:

        Next, smoke is unburned fuel. If you burn the fuel properly, there is no smoke. A smoky diesel engine is one that is not completely burning the fuel. There is no smoke in diesel either.

        When it comes to home heating with coal, there are a few things worth noting. It is far more efficient to burn coal in the home than in a power station and send electricity or even pump district heating water. Modern appliances (apparently rate in the UK) are available from Poland. This one is about 90% efficient It is a is a Zebiec product apparently made from public domain drawings on my website. The original low pressure boiler from which it is copied is described here

        As for the impact on health of a modern low emissions stove, in the home and out, a paper is available here It is an independent look at the social and health impacts of the heating units in the World Bank article.

        What we should be talking about is a smokeless stove, not “smokeless coal”. The City of Ulaanbaatar introduced since last May, by force, “smokeless coal” made from high ash coal from Alag Tolgoi mine – basically unwanted middlings briquetted and semi-coked. The result from September was an disaster with dozens dead from CO poisoning and well over a thousands admitted to hospital with non-fatal exposures. The domestic stoves were simply not suited to the new fuel, particularly when conencted to “high efficiency” high mass heating walls.

        It is akin to putting diesel into a gasoline engine. What results do you expect? Terrible combustion with high CO, that’s what. If policy makers are not even aware of what smoke is and where it comes from, they should not be policy makers! Surely that much should be obvious to everyone. If policy makers are unaware of advances in coal combustion at the domestic scale, they should ask producers in developing countries what they are up to.

        More than 500m people in Asia are dependent on the direct burning of coal as their primary heating and cooking fuel. Do you think they are waiting around hoping someone in Europe will life a finger to help them, when Europe thinks there are such things as “smoky coal” and “smokeless coal”? Europe is not lifting a finger, they are giving them the finger: “Hey poor people! Ban coal; freeze and starve in the dark.”

        • Well, he must have nominated himself and Carrie Symonds then 🙂
          Despite flooding grief in the parts of the country, corona virus threats He has not been seen in public for 9 days since the huge row with Dom Cummings over the ‘superforecaster’ Sabisky. I voted for Boris personally twice in the past, a bit puzzled by his absence. It’s time Stanley had a word or two with Boris.

    • Environmentalists and green groups previously encouraged wood burning stoves as ‘renewable energy’. I actually agree with Boris on this one. Since the advent of the electric and gas grids, polluting household coal and wood burning stoves should be consigned to history.
      If they really wanted to reduce both pollution and CO2 emissions, they would embrace nuclear and Fracked natural gas. However, the green troughers on the ‘climate change committee’; the same people who wasted £billions of taxpayers money, while pocketing from green interests, by converting Drax power station to wood pellets; have proposed banning gas supply to homes.

  2. Boris Johnson, at certain Brexit moments, appeared to be fairly rational but now he has obviously drunken the Kool-Aid and is intent on condemning millions of poor or elderly people to death by hypothermia. Fortunately for these victimised people, Australia is still welcoming newcomers and the good news is that those who settle in Sydney or anywhere north of that is that they will not need any significant heating at home and will also enjoy much superior weather year-round. Say goodbye to Climate Alarmism and embrace the ideal climate now.
    Boris and his elitist collaborators have no idea how poor people live and what they need to survive. They eat their cake and deny the poor their bread.

      • funny how this is bad but importing pelletised wood from the other side of the Atlantic to burn at Drax is “good”

        • Trying to reduce CO2 production may have caused more crazy ideas to be proposed and imposed than any other scientific subject matter. It’s just one dire prediction after another and one crazy solution after another, day after day, week after week, year after year. And none of these dire predictions ever come to pass. WUWT?

          I sure am enjoying this nice winter weather. This is what you CAGW doomsters are worried about? I say give me more!

          It would be funny if it wasn’t for all the millions of people who have been duped into believing this unsubstantiated fearmongering over CO2, and are prepared to take counterproductive actions in an effort to control Earth’s weather. Delusional.

        • Wood mining in the forests of BC has the potential to be a major environmental/ productivity issue. Currently considerable “waste” wood is left on site after timber harvesting in BC. It is more economical for wood miners (primarily the wood pellet industry but also wood powered electric) to pick a site clean if they collect wood after timber harvesting (which isn’t the only source of wood for pellets) . In some parts of the world, ash is returned to the site to replace calcium, magnesium, potassium and other nutrients removed as a result of intensive wood harvesting. Also there is a large category of forest organisms that are dependent on wood at some point in their life cycle. In BC we practise an extensive kind of forestry (I am being polite) where the government takes revenue from the forests and engages in minimal management either of soil productivity or forest biodiversity. They have never and are unlikely to ever to engage in the kind of intensive management that is required to sustain wood mining on sensitive soils. So we are causing environmental degradation in BC to support a wood pellet industry that was developed to solve a nonsensical global warming scare. Environmentalists work in mysterious ways.

          • BCBill

            The waste wood can be charcoaled and turned into high quality fuel – even for boilers now using coal. There us a project being run on First Nations land in Washington State (maybe it is Oregon?) trying to accomplish this with technical advice from one of the best (he is based on Portland).

            There are large scale charcoaling methods (including the “curtain”) which can process larges amount of biomass waste daily. The waste heat could be used for things like kiln-drying wood or other process heat.

    • Sydney is still too cold. Quite a lot of heating is required in the winter, and most houses are not good at it (eg insulation etc).

      I eventually moved up to the tropics from Sydney, having moved there from the bitterly cold uk (and the south, the north is abominable).

      I still use heating in the winter, if I’m unfortunate enough not to have arranged my trip to my climate refuge in southern Europe.

      • ‘the north is abominable’
        That, sir, is clearly a northophobic statement. Any northophobism should be punished by long periods of re-education at a suitable facility. Northophobia is an example of not treating people, or areas, equally. All people, and areas, must be treated equally, And don’t give me any of that biological, meterological stuff. In this day and age equality trumps facts any day of the week. Moreover, in this day and age we should celebrate diversity so your comment about the north is not celebrating diversity. If the north wants to be different from the south we should accept that. If the north, despite all the evidence to the contrary, wishes to regard itself as being as warm as the south we shoud accept that, otherwise we might hurt its feelings. We don’t want to be hateful or offensive do we? At the moment being northophobic is not a crime but you need to be aware that the police are logging instances of “non-criminal hate incidents”. That’s because there is so little actual crime they have nothing else to do.

    • Nonsense, nicholas tesdorf. This is a very rational move. Wet wood and coal for fire places should not be allowed in modern neighbourhoods – it causes choking pollution. This has nothing to do with climate change.

      • As regards particulate pollution, We already have smoke control areas where it is illegal to burn ordinary coal, dating from the 1950’s. Nowadays though it does get ignored and people just burn house coal. Coal really is best burned in power stations or processed into smokeless fuel, which as already pointed out here, allows retrieval of all sorts of useful chemicals.

      • I agree, this has nothing to do with climate as the headline suggests but the reduction of REAL air pollution. Also, the great surge in the use of wood burning stoves in the UK in recent years has been a life style thing among people who aren’t exactly poor.

        • Real air pollution? Like in the 50 s? Where? We have lots of healthy lichens all around our coal and wood heated home.

      • “Plans to phase out the sale of house coal and wet wood have been confirmed as part of efforts to tackle tiny particle pollutants known as PM2.5, which can penetrate deep into lungs and the blood and cause serious health problems.”

        Yes, I think we need some perspective. The lump coal is undoubtedly polluting and in an urbanised country like the UK harmful to health. Wet wood burns very badly. Dry wood burns cleaner and warmer. There are no less than 6 types of smokeless coal available in bags from my small local garage.

        Ironically-like diesel cars-the govt was encouraging the burning of wood in stoves a few years ago and Drax imports and burns more wood pellets than all the householders of Britain combined although it is burned dry and has emission controls. Of course we do know that this is crazy.

        So not a bad move as regards the tiny harmful particles. Agreed there are a very few householders who will be affected who burn the cheaper more polluting coal and may need help, but there is nothing to stop householders getting their own wet wood and burning it, just not from a recognised contractor.


        • “PM2.5, which can penetrate deep into lungs and the blood and cause serious health problems” pure BS if it was a problem a smoke would not last ten years, and the minute prehuman starting fire they would have gone extinct.

      • “These produce less smoke and pollution, and are cheaper and more efficient to burn, officials said.”
        So long as that’s actually true, fuel poverty is not an issue.

        • They ain’t cheaper than coal, they don’t burn as well and they make a hell of a lot of ash. Why would anyone burn wet wood, except on a bonfire? Seasoned is much better, but there is no need for the utter insanity of kiln drying firewood.

      • Wet wood and coal for fire places should not be allowed in modern neighbourhoods – it causes choking pollution.

        It matters not a twit iffen you are burning wet wood, dry wood, peat, soft coal or hard coal …… if you “fire” is not getting sufficient O2 (oxygen), then you are producing dangerous “air pollution”.

        A <a href= “catalytic converter” will remedy your “polluting” problem.

      • Andy

        Did you notice how easily people lame the fuel for the performance of the combustor? It is a poor workman who blames his tools.

        Wet wood combustors are well known and so are very clean-burning coal combustors. To burn wet wood cleanly, you have to preheat the primary air. To burn coal cleanly, you have to use cross-draft or down-draft combustion. Both the original downdraft stove (1688) and the Franklin stove (1742) were cleaner burning than supposedly modern English boxes with chimneys.

    • To understand Boris’s green madness you only need to look from the waist downwards. His new lady has clearly drafted all these new rules and one can only speculate that conjugal rights are part of the deal. What was that he was banging on about recently? We don’t want to be governed by unelected officials in Brussels?

      Seems to me we’re being governed by a whole more powerful instinct now…

    • I wonder what the companies down there would be willing to pay a multi- talented and heavily experienced miner?

    • And how will these ”Welcome to Australia” poor and elderly people attain the 100 points necessary to be allowed into Australia? The air fare alone would keep them supplied with dry wood pellets in the UK for years.

    • This is nonsense. Coal and wood fires in the UK are not used by the poor but by the wealthy. Its 2020, not 1930.

    • I don’t know if they have such a thing as “junk mail” in the UK, but here’s a thought.

      Back in the 1970s, in the depths of our self-imposed “energy crisis,” people in the US came up with a variety of solutions to home heating. One made national news. A guy in Colorado made sure to get on every junk mail list in existence at the time, and heated his home with the tons of paper that arrived every month.

      Despite the rise of the internet, that solution would probably still be viable in the US today.

  3. oh well , he cant get everything right

    if he (the govt/the taxpayer) helps people with alternatives its probably postive from a basic pollution point of view, as these burners would be pretty inefficient and probably not well maintained.

    I guess the smell of burning peat is also gone across Ireland then? the seem to be at least as rabid as the UK

  4. So… No more barbecues? They give off more smoke than any fireplace, even though most barbecues in the uk are outright laughable after living in Oz.

    • oh I dunno
      the trend is for the 1000$ u beaut gas bbq with hotrocks maybe
      not a proper barbie at all.
      if its not got wood under it it isnt a barbie!

      that said I gather cleancoal is briquettes? they pong and are expensive in aus and rare
      totally stupid as it smoulders clags the flue and generates stuff all heat,
      if you get sold greenwood(under 12mths splitn dried) here youd be abused at least and sure wouldnt have a repeat sale , and word gets round.

      how and why would anyone buy it willingly beats me. unless its half price and you could buy and store it for a yr or two for later use?

    • Hey Zig Zag!

      That photo is of a BBQ that is already lit. And they are talking about it as if it is a pile of smouldering coal. Oh well…what can one do.

  5. The article states “[t]hese produce less smoke and pollution, and are cheaper and more efficient to burn, officials said.” Are the recommended alternative fuels not cheaper?

  6. Complete MADNESS ……… Boris need a swift kick in the rear !!! ……Sadly GB is becoming the Green Nanny State driven by the Eco Loons ……. No house gas heating , no petrol cars , no log fires ……. WHER WILL IT END …….. watch out for the thought police !!!!!

  7. Philadelphia banned burning of coal for home and building heating about 50 years ago to decrease air pollution. That effort was successful. More recently than that, replacement of coal by natural gas was the greatest factor in US decreasing its greenhouse gas emissions since the US peak of greenhouse gas emissions in 2005, and increase of energy efficiency is the #2 reason.

    One thing I oppose: Forcing people to use electricity in place of natural gas for heating applications before an increase in electricity demand gets supplied by non-fossil-fuel sources, because that increases burning of natural gas (or fossil fuels in general) in the name of decreasing that. Electricity from natural gas has combined generation, transmission and distribution efficiency around 40%. (This number is less for other fossil fuels, and coal produces more greenhouse gas emissions per BTU of fossil fuel energy than natural gas does.)

    • Donald L. Klipstein – at 11:03 pm

      You were going good until:

      …coal produces more greenhouse gas…

  8. In 1985-1987, when I was young USAF officer stationed at RAF Greenham Common (sitting ready to nuke the Warsaw Pact back to the Stone Age), I distinctly remember the smell of coal on a winter nights walking in southern English towns.
    The home I rented in Kingsclere was all electric then. My girlfriend’s home in Andover was also all-electric heat too.
    Times change.
    It probably is time to move on from heating a home with raw coal.

    Some progress is good. Coal has it’s usefulness in the big electric generating stations where big scale exhaust scrubbers can remove the sulfur and the particulates my nose remembers from all those decades ago.

    The absolute irony here is I now live in Tucson Arizona. A quite warm climate by anyone’s measure.
    Yet I have classic wood burning fireplace in my single family home. A fireplace that I use in the winter on a dozen or so cold nights every year. Many of my neighbors as well do too. There’s something about a crackling wood fire on a cold winter’s night.
    Maybe it reminds us of where we were not that long ago. And this coming summer (4 months hence), I’ve already planned out my mesquite wood cutting safari on my family’s Texas ranch to have plenty o’wood for the next winter’s fire.

    So I suppose in the context of the climate scam, coal is bad. A sin. It’s supposedly “bad” because that carbon was sequestered millions of years ago deep underground. And the wood I’ll burn next winter was just a decade or so ago CO2 floating in the air. Still… does Nature care where that CO2 comes from? And is it even measurable in the vast natural flows? I doubt it.

    As for Jolly Old England, BoJo is probably correct for the home owner… it’s time to move-on from coal for the home.

    • Joel,
      Open fires are still legal. You just can’t buy green wood to burn on them and nor would anybody
      want to if there were other options. Green wood and coal cause way more air pollution and more deaths
      than would be caused by burning solid fuel alternatives. Solid fuel is currently slightly more expensive
      but not significantly.

      • Green wood and coal cause way more air pollution and more deaths

        More deaths, ….. “HUH”, …… says who, …. the same ones that claim cigarette smoke “causes more deaths”.

        Just how many of those “more deaths” were ever autopsied to prove those blatant accusations?

        Why is it, …… that they know for a FACT that diesel exhaust is extremely harmful to the lungs of young children and senior citizens ……… but the “mouthy” do-gooders and government employees really don’t give a damn. School children are still packed into diesel burning buses for 9 months out of every year.

        It’s obvious that “cigarette smoke” ….. and “biomass smoke” …. are the only two “Cash Cows” they need at the moment.

    • Joel

      I worked at USAF Grenham common in the early 70’s at American Express as my first job. The Green Berets would fly in very late on a Friday in order to cash their pay cheques and we would try to pretend we were shut as the last thing we wanted was to be at the bank until 10pm. Mind you when a pile of green berets start hammering on the doors and peering in the windows you tend to have to do what they want.

      I remember the cruise missiles arriving as we lived nearby and remember the women protestors.

      I think coal is fine in carefully controlled power stations but the raw stuff is highly polluting and just as we moved on from its general use in the 60’s to combat the awful smogs, its time to move on from the raw coal in domestic use. There are plenty of smokeless alternatives


    • I live in a village in England where very few open fires are used, as evidenced by smoke; nearly everyone has gas central heating. Like Joel, I still like an open fire, but coal in my case and fewer than 10 nights per winter, and I am very miffed that it is being phased out in “virtue signalling”. I’ll be stockpiling this autumn…


      • Exactly. The poor don’t use coal and wood, it’s the better off using wood burners and having the luxury of big fireplaces in big houses.

        • Your wrong, come to my rural area il show you the poor using wood stoves, the old with open hearth fires ,they cant afford alternatives, you seem to think it’s just the middle class who use wood burners for their jollys, you could not be more wrong.

        • Nonsense every house built before the 1970s has a open hearth fire place,be it a cottage ,terrace, farmhouse or a mansion, the vast majority of houses in the UK are the formers, they have the majority of woodburners if fitted,
          No one is denying big houses dont have woodburners , to imply every one is wealthy living in a big house is wrong,to imply these people use woodburners as a status symbol is wrong,burning wood and coal is not a status symbol it’s a necessity for hundreds of thousands of people particularly in rural areas ,the cost of alternative fuels is prohibited for the poor ,

  9. Eric,
    Your picture shows an egg shaped smokeless fuel ( like ‘Coalite’) being burned.

    Read all about it –

    It is not banned.

    This is a real coal fire –

    It will be banned (quite rightly; NO coal should be be burned without being processed to recover all the wonderful chemicals it contains first ).

    Gas heating for new houses will be banned by 2025, even though it’s clean, reliable & ~95% efficient. The homes will keep warm with devices such as heat pumps…powered by ELECTRIC.

    ICE cars will be banned & we will have to use ELECTRIC.

    All trains will be ELECTRIC.

    All we need in the UK is some method of reliable low-cost ELECTRIC ~ 5x the dispatchable capacity we have now.

    I’m sure ‘our glorious leader Boris’ & his Extinction Rebellion friends & family will save us.

    • Before long ICE car makers will be unable to sell new ICE cars. If petrol is banned, the New ICE cars will be binned well before the last payment is made.
      Who would be willing to put out hard earned money for a product they won’t be able to use after 3 or 4 years and won’t be able to resell

      • dunno bout that
        whos going to buy an electric car for double the price and half the lifespan due to the cost of replacer batteries and most likely a huge disposal fee for the ones removed as well?
        naff all resale value for the same reason
        doubt any of the leccy cars would go to 30yrs and still run if even roadworty by then.

        plain english we have about 10yrs to sort the bastards out !

      • Before long ICE car makers will be unable to sell new ICE cars.

        “YUP”, ….. ‘before long’, …… like maybe 40+ years from now “long”.

        It can’t be any sooner because the car makers have to replace the current 263.6 million vehicles in the US of A …… with an EV that the poor people can afford to buy.

        And iffen you take the ICE cars away from the poor people, the economy collapses and ya can’t manufacture EVs or much anything else.

  10. I thought that coal for domestic heating In the UK was banned in the 1950s after the ‘Great Smog’, and replaced by ‘smokeless fuel’, I.e. coke. Did the law change since then to permit coal, or is this just shoddy reporting? bTW I lived there through that period, not very pleasant.

    • @ Boy
      “I thought that coal for domestic heating In the UK was banned in the 1950s”

      only in smoke control areas;
      The Clean Air Act 1956 allowed the introduction of ‘smoke control areas’ in towns and cities
      The 1956 and 1968 Clean Air Acts were repealed by the Clean Air Act 1993
      that states –
      under section 4 of the Clean Air Act 1993. Section 14(2) of the Act requires that an occupier of a building shall not knowingly cause or permit a furnace to be used in a building: (a) to burn pulverised fuel (b) to burn any other solid matter at a rate of 45.4 kilograms or more an hour

      So we can still burn up to 45.4 kilograms an hour !!!!!….in each furnace !!!!

    • Smokeless zones were set up, I suspect that the fashion for log burners may have lead people to ignore these, as they’d buy plastic bags of coal from a local garage or shop.

    • The Clean Air legislation covers those areas designated when introduced by Local Authorities in the 1950s and 1960s. Not across the nation.
      So, in the city I live, coal is banned in the city as it was in the 1960s, but not in all the suburbs (which didn’t even come under the City Council in those days.)

      Thanks to the ‘demographics’, the city has ‘grown’.

      I wouldn’t burn raw coal. Too dirty. But seasoned wood in a proper wood-burning stove is another matter. Kiln dried wood is ridiculously expensive. And following the deliberate destruction of the coal industry, smokeless fuel is also expensive.

      Of course the key word is ‘seasoned’. By splitting and air drying over a Summer (and storing under cover), moisture content well under 20% is easily achieved. But will this be allowed? We shall see.

      As for pm2.5 particulates, the evidence of harm to health is very weak. This has been well debated here in the past.

      • I produce my own wood, which I dry in ventilated stores for at least 3 years (probably 5years – I don’t keep a check on it) before I burn it in my wood-burning stove. It burns very cleanly and very hot.

  11. This made me really laugh, the effort you put in to share this non-sense is mind boggling. You clearly have no idea what is actually happening and more interested in the fact this may have a knock on effect for the US and others.

    There are many coal alternatives in the UK that are priced the same or in some case cheaper that are cleaner and burn more efficiently, personally I’m friendly with the local starbucks and take their used coffee grinds and press them into log type shapes and they burn brilliantly well and cost me nothing except a very small amount of time.

  12. There is nothing like a roaring coal fire. My nan in Ireland used to receive coal deliveries as she was a pensioner.

    • Coeur de Lion

      The 50,000 deaths were in England and Wales according to the ONS. 0.1% of population.

      2017 deaths in the Indian heatwave, 2,500.

      From a population of 1.3bn ~0.000003% (give or take a zero)

      70m people in India live below the internationally recognised poverty level of $1.95 per day. That’s more than the entire UK population.

  13. NOX comes off the fields. Particulates and NOX come from vehicle exhausts. Raw coal and wood contribute tiny amounts of both. There is a solution to the vehicle pollution — convert HGVs to LPG or CNG. This latter is cheaper and very efficient — if only we had fifty years supply of natural gas readily accessible under Lancashire… Oh, hang on…

    This will eventually go down in history as The Silly Government.

    • I have serious doubts about that. I think “silly” is now the norm. A government will have to be sensible to be remarked upon in uk history for the last 40 years. I’m not holding my breath for that.

  14. “King Edward I of England banned the burning of sea-coal by proclamation in London in 1272, after its smoke became a problem.” link

  15. …cleaner alternatives such as dry wood and manufactured solid fuels. These produce less smoke and pollution, and are cheaper and more efficient to burn, officials said.

    This contradicts this statement:

    The reason British people burn nasty, smokey green wood and coal is they can’t afford anything else

    Which is correct? Can someone explain?

    • Easy.

      “Cheaper”, once you add a huge amount of money to the thing you are banning, to allow for the entirely imaginary “cost” of Glowbull Warming.

    • Hi Stinkerp, I heat my home/water completely with an efficient wood boiler. So I’m aware of the water content of wood. Green wood has the same calorific value as seasoned wood (<20% moisture). However, some of that heat will be required to drive off the moisture and depending on stove/boiler will make the device less efficient and require more maintenance. Depending on the wood you can lose more than half the heat on these inefficiencies. It is therefore a false economy to buy cheap green wood. Even so called seasoned wood can often be above this 20% content as I have found with my suppliers. A moisture content reader is a must if you buy seasoned wood.

      Also the cost of wood took a big jump in the last couple of years due to the UK RHI scheme… but that’s another story.

  16. We have had the Ban for about 20-30 years here in Christchurch NZ,
    Even a ban on open fires.
    Air much cleaner.
    You can use wood burners or heat pumps.
    Heat pumps cheaper to run.

    • They are burnt in unused farm sheds for which they receive a huge subsidy (paid by consumers) known as the Renewable Heat Incentive. This helps to meet EU renewable energy targets and helps to increase fuel poverty.

  17. I go bushwalking in Tasmania from time to time. Until 15 about years ago most of the huts I came across were heated by very nice sweet smelling black coal. A bit hard to set on fire, but I could show off and demonstrate my outdoor skills to others by starting and getting the heater glowing red hot.
    These days most huts are heated by locked and controlled gas heaters, or the pissweak Gippsland brown coal brickettes that replaced the black coal. (Exception, the hydro heated Lake Tahune Hut)
    At home I live in a modern house, heated by a heat pump.

  18. The ban (at least the coal part) is for what is termed “household coal” often sold in blue bags at service stations. The Multiheat smokeless coal is unaffected. Our local dealer was run off his feet with panicked consumers and wasn’t happy the articles had been so misleading. I was chatting to him at the local pub and he said it has been a windfall for him in terms of sales, but people just seem to read what they want to read.

  19. A bit outside of the small city where we live there’s a big facility. Perfectly good big trees arrive by trucks to be transformed in tiny pellets. Which are then sold at about 500$ per tonne in local big do it yourself supermarkets.

    I once stopped by and attempted to learn the amount of energy required (and therefore wasted) to chop enough trees for a tonne of pellets.

    Sorry, we can not disclose trade secrets Sir…

    Trade secret huh ? Of a business sponsored by our taxes ?

    • beats me why they even manage to sell it, small bits do burn hotter BUT they also burn fast and are an utter waste of money as well as constant refilling fIrebox. i collect twigs n leaves in summer autumn use the household paper etc waste as starters
      and then manage to warm most of the draughty wooden house with about 6 or 7 decent sized chunks of wood 5/6 all night for higher heat and one I keep on slow burn during the cay to keep the firebox warm
      white or redgum or stringybark and the logs would be maybe 5kg each?

  20. in 1944 2cwt of coal was used by homes per week for heating = 100kg
    UK cost of house coal is currently £44.92/100kg
    This could buy approx 44.92/.17 =264kwh of electricity per week
    This is 37kwh of electricity per day

    This is more than adequate for most uk properties to maintain acceptable air temperatures and hot water.
    The cost of alternatives for a poor uk householder who was relying on coal is therefore not an issue

    Today Coal and logs are used mainly by the rich for the ambience not the cost!

    • I dont agree, the wealthy and poor alike burn wood and coal in rural areas, some supplement this with oil and gas heating, at a thousand pounds a load for oil the poor can not afford the oil to heat the house,without coal and wood this would be x2 for a years worth heating /domestic cooking.

    • Utter nonsense.

      When I lived in the UK, most people in my low socio-economic area who were subject to clean air laws defied those laws because they couldn’t afford to heat their homes with electricity. The local authorities turned a blind eye because they didn’t want lots of dead people.

      Our heater was a 6Kw unit, running most of the day and night close to peak capacity during the coldest months of winter, so the actual peak energy burn was around 6 x 24 x 7 = 1008 KWh per week for at least 12 weeks. Using your electricity price of .17 / KWh, providing similar heat using electricity would have required £170 / week – around £2000 for a year of electric heat.

      Instead of paying around £2000+ for 6KW of continuous heat in winter, we used a wood / coal burner, which required 3 loads of cheap green wood @ £80 / load + around 3 refills of the coal bucket for around £130 / fill, total around £630 – less than a third of what the electricity would have cost for the same amount of heat.

    • whaaat?
      I use 13.7kw power a month in an all electric home running 2 freezers and a large fridgefreezer
      and thats the summer bill which is high due toa 3hp borepump for an hr a day
      my present powerco tells me I use almost 1/3 less than avg one person home?
      my old powerco told me I used more than a 2 person home
      go figure that one, I couldnt.

        • Can you imagine an old stone castle? With no insulation. That must be quite the heating bill, no matter what they are heating with. But probably nice and cool on a hot summer day.

    • Your figures for the amount of coal used to heat a house are excessive. 50kg does us fine for a week, even when sub zero. Insulation has improved since then. But you knew that.

  21. “We will continue to be ambitious and innovative in tackling air pollution from all sources as we work towards our goal to halve the harm to human health from air pollution by 2030.”

    Hands up all who have felt less healthy in recent years. Why don’t people like the environment secretary realise that as a nation we are healthier today than at any time in the country’s long history. He should tell us how many lives he is going to save as a result of this madness. If he cannot, then he has no right to impose such a dramatic and unnecessary imposition on this country’s traditional way of life. Why is Mr Eustace intent in promoting himself as the great man who is going to save the environment at the cost of millions of people, many old and poor? If Johnson does not turn round this utterly ridiculous directive by his environment secretary, as indeed he did with the recent directive on property tax issued by the Chancellor I shall never vote for him again.

  22. OK greens, let us have a review of our achievements so far.
    1. Ban all use of coal fired electricity. tick, the last three plants will be demolished in 2023.
    2. Ban all use of oil fired power stations, tick, only sub 10 MW units retained for emergencies.
    3. Ban all domestic open fires. tick
    4. Ban all domestic closed fires. tick, legislation is underway. No more Aga warmth or log burners.
    5. Ban all diesel cars. tick, already banned in some city areas and being extended.
    6. Ban all petrol/hybrid cars. tick, 2035 is end day, from 2030 the vehicles will be unmarketable.
    7. Ban foraging for fuel. tick, anyone without a licence to carry will be prosecuted if caught.
    8. Ban gas connection to new houses. tick, from 2025 all new build will be gas-less.
    9. Ban any dissenting voices from commenting on public media. tick, already BBC and Guardian policy.
    10 Allow mass XR demonstration without sanction. tick, the Metropolitan police encourage such.
    11. Get a sleeper green into the number 10 position. tick, things just Carrie on as planned.
    12. Do not talk about The long march through the institutions, tick…..
    let me just answer that banging on the door…….

    • Begining? This country has been steadily going to the dogs since Blair opened our borders post 1997. We are set to become an absolute ethnic minority in our homeland by 2066. And not a loved minority, judging by the prevalance of anti-white sentiment in the media these days.

      On the coal issue? Real housecoal delivers at least double the calorific value when burnt to the more expensive smokeless coal. This will effectively double fuel prices for those in rural areas who rely on open fires for their winter heating. Shameful policy from an out of touch elitist government, pandering to that autistic child, Thurnberg and her motley crew of eco-fascists.

      • Our world has become so crazy that it is almost believable that people would buy something like this.

        $1,000 for a bundle of kindling is God’s way of telling you that you earn too much money.

  23. In rural areas where wind disperses the soot, burning coal in an open fires might be ok, but in high density housing it should have been no, no, long time ago, especially in the areas where low particles emission gas supplies are available.
    However, of more immediate concern is a news report that “The World Health Organisation has raised concerns about cases where there has been no contact with someone known to be infected nor travel to China” and that incubation period might be as long as four weeks.

  24. There goes my hickory smoked BBQ in Britain idea.
    If they ban coal what will the overreaching ham fists of government pass out as gifts?

  25. Once again WUWT provides insight to things other than just climate. Often folks like me who reside in other parts of the world are not aware of how such government edicts affect others. I sit here this morning at my desk next to the large sliding doors that allows me a view of my backyard. It has been around 80F for the last several days and a cold front came through yesterday. This morning the temp outside is around 48F but the sky is blue with the morning sun light shining through the tropical foliage that abounds all around. Inside I am comfortable at 74F and that is without having to use any heating through the night thanks to thermal windows and attic insulation which are designed to keep the heat out in the summer but work in reverse on the occasional cold nights we get here. This made me think that perhaps the real climate refugees will be those seeking warmth due to the consequences of government rather than climate change itself.

  26. Recall all the blogging during climategate heralding the end of the global warming hoax?
    This is not winning.

  27. Johnson obviously knows what the result will be. Already poor, elderly people n England are dying from cold because they can’t afford the rising rates; banning house coal & wet wood just speeds up the process of depopulation. The Agenda is carved into 20 ft high granite in eight languages, so it’s hard to miss.

    • Not really. Fuel poverty in Britain is a serious issue, between 10-20% of households struggle to pay for heating. Lots of people die every year because they can’t afford to stay warm.

      Poor people don’t buy wet wood from garden centres, they buy it cheap off the backs of pickup trucks from people whose contact details are passed by word of mouth. If the government assumes people are buying their winter fuel in hardware stores, all their calculations of the impacts of this new law are way off.

    • Steve, you will have to find another source for your filtered eco news. No sensible person opens up any link to the Guardian. They refuse to allow open debate, so we refuse to look at their propaganda.

      • The Guardian regularly supplies ‘news’ articles to Yahoo US News that are critical of the Trump administration. They follow that up with articles supporting the claims of Russia meddling in the upcoming US elections. They should know meddling when they see it, because they are very good at it.

  28. If PM2.5 is that big of a problem (???), first give them a viable alternative. Also not a fan of political policy based on claims of “most harmful pollutant” after you’ve already effectively reduced the most harmful pollutants. You’re left with any old excuse to go on.

  29. In the United States, Utah, Sandy, they allow wood/coal burning when the dwelling has no other means of heat. What that has done is the jerk with a $70K 4X4, 30 foot Ski boat, 40 foot RV, $50K UTV’s, dual Jet Skis, pulls his gas furnace out and replaces it with a wood/coal burning monster then burns his garbage on the weekends to cap it off. Older, fixed income, pulling oxygen tanks behind them can not go outdoors during the winter and with inversions even the air indoors isn’t healthy.
    So they (politicians) are looking at higher taxes for gas, higher registration fees for gas burning cars, taxing by the mile all to reduce the crap in the air they allowed with the wood/coal burning cutout.

  30. Few things are more dangerous than extraordinary popular delusions.

    When I was in England the people looked healthy using coal. Was that a delusion?

    • Olen
      February 22, 2020 at 7:47 am
      Few things are more dangerous than extraordinary popular delusions.
      When I was in England the people looked healthy using coal. Was that a delusion?

      In the 1960s even into the 1970s a lot of old people suffered badly from severe bronchitis caused by atmospheric pollution caused by coal smoke in big cities. I remember in Birmingham not being able to see the side of the pavement (=sidewalk) in the fog.

      • Exactly what is a lot of people compaired with the general population? Are you suggesting the whole population
        Suffered some respiratory illness because of burning solid fuel,are you suggesting cities and their smog is only caused by burning solid fuel, you really need to look at the geographic position of major cities and atmospheric conditions at the time of smog , I think you will find it’s not the case burning solid fuel is the cause of smog.

  31. Eric Worrall February 22, 2020 at 2:34 am
    Our heater was a 6Kw unit, running most of the day and night close to peak capacity during the coldest months of winter,
    6kw = 25A will not run on UK 240v ring main (plugs fused at 13A) – I assume you must have had a central boiler for the 25Amp consumption.
    so the actual peak energy burn was around 6 x 24 x 7 = 1008 KWh per week for at least 12 weeks. Using your electricity price of .17 / KWh, providing similar heat using electricity would have required £170 / week – around £2000 for a year of electric heat.
    I find it difficult to believe your hovel was loosing 6kw to atmosphere. In my hovel in the 60s we managed with a 2kw fan heater running only when needed. why would anyone heat their bedrooms to normal daytime temps? surely you must have lowered the sleep temps?

    an interesting doc:

    “The demise of solid fuels (for heating) was even more stark: they provided nearly half of the energy used in homes in 1970, but are down to just 2% today. This is because so few homes now use open fires or coal stoves as their main form of heating. (‘Solid fuel’ included wood until 2000 because of the way BREHOMES categorised fuels. It is now classified as ‘Renewables’.) ”
    pg 73
    19 million —27 million households
    £1,050—— £1,250 energy spend per household

    You should also understand that over 60s receive a £200 gift from the government every winter = 1000kwH. Plus a cold weather payment
    “You’ll get a payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over 7 consecutive days.
    You’ll get £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.”

    • 6Kw wood heater. We didn’t live in London, most of the people in my area used wood heating. And yes my “hovel” did get cold without the wood heater going full blast.

      • “Wood burning stoves, unlike fireplaces, do not lose more than 90 per cent of their heat up the chimney. Even the simplest Franklin stoves keep 40 to 70 per cent of their heat” No idea what efficiency of stove you had but it certainly was not 100%

        so possibly 4kw of heat output???

        A 4kw electric heater is 100% efficient
        Today you can burn coal equivalent to 36kwh of equally priced electricity per day. I would therefore suggest with modern bed linen (duvets) this would be more than sufficient to keep even the most frail alive – Coal/wood/electric equal priced perday

        • meant to add that it is not a fight between coal or electricity but a problem with money available that causes problems and deaths.

  32. I gather this ban only affects household sales and doesn’t affect heritage railways, so it would seem the work around for anyone who enjoys a lump or two of coal to enhance their household open fire is to join the nearest preservation society as a member and scavenge any odd lumps laying around that spill out locomotive tenders during a running day.

  33. I only have a wood burner to heat my home, there is no gas supply here, I cut my own wood but usually run out in Jan/Feb then switch to coal. 10 miles to the nearest town. dry wood is the most expensive fuel to buy, buying dry wood would cost me £400 a month just for heating which i need 6 months of the year. one size fits all is BS.

  34. Here in the UK – I live in a rural part of northwest England – nobody with the slightest bit of sense burns ‘wet wood’, which is to say unseasoned wood. Buy from a reputable source which will guarantee that the wood has been kept at least over the summer to dry out sufficiently; there is a certification scheme. And no need to buy kiln-dried wood either; it’s a complete waste of energy doing this.

    • Not all wood will dry over a summer. I split and stack my wood under cover but in well ventilated stores. Ash will dry over summer but not oak, that will require 2 or more summers due to its density. Alder and willow ditto but because of the high water content.

      A moisture meter is a must… my boiler will work efficiently with 10 to 20% moisture.

      But agree, no need for kiln drying.

  35. Here in rural Wales, although I’m in London this week. Supplies of wood for burning came from the boys, tractor trailer 80 notes a load ,its more nowadays , the wood was as green as it comes, every one who bought a load knew it had to be dried ,and left it for a year or so to be seasoned ,and used last years loads this year, this wood came from farms were they worked,and or through the FC via a fire wood licence.

    In 2000 Wales became the owner of all national forests in its land, one of the first things they did was withdraw the firewood licence, a ancient right ( By hook or by crook) to gather fallen wood in the kings forests.

    They justified this by saying bugs lived in the dead wood, 6 months later the harvesting companies started to sell fire wood to the public who previously had the right to gather themselves, the justification was a lie so large companies could profit from what was a rural way of life.

    This latest fuel scam is not about Johnny’s asthma, its subversive control in the name of the environment and climate change .

  36. Never fear,there is always old tyres.
    In fact I understand Nelson Mandela’s partner was a world leader in their political use.
    While that is very off colour sarcasm,the silver lining of the Brits Elites betraying the citizens so soon after gaining power should not go un-noted.
    This Mass Hysteria running rampant throughout the self proclaimed “enlightened ones” will result in their rapid fall from public grace.
    Freezing,impoverished people are rather humourless when dealing with dangerous,clueless and useless freeloaders.
    The hard times that will be the result of gang Green and those who hope to benefit from their madness holding power,will smarten up at least two generations.

    Eventually even the most well “educated” taxpayer comes to realize,we do not need the “help” government brings.
    But the “helpers” need to feed on us.
    Interesting times.

    • … A few respondents argued that switching from coal to cleaner fuels would not have the impact some people feared. House coal may appear to be cheaper by weight but burns faster than smokeless fuel so there is little saving overall. …

      The cluelessness is strong with this one. The government appears puzzled that people would choose coal or wet wood from hardware stores when it is the more expensive option.

      The bit they’ve overlooked is most poor people don’t buy wood from hardware stores, they buy it at a fraction of the price mainstream suppliers charge from friends of friends.

  37. I suspect that thousands more poor old people dying from cold in their homes is a feature, not a bug.

  38. “The reason British people burn nasty, smokey green wood and coal is they can’t afford anything else.”

    Bullshit. A lot of houses have coal burning Aga stoves, and a lot have open fires, seeing as there are many old houses in the UK. We use wood and coal because of tradition, not because it is cheap. In fact the houses that have these kinds of stoves, and o;en fires, are at the expensive end of the market.

    By the way these fuels were banned in London in the 50s because of the smogs they used to provoke.

    • Your wrong, ask a farmer who has a Rayburn that’s a range, how much money he makes from farming ,then ask his wife about how much she is pleased to go out to work, do you know how much it costs to fill a thousand litre tank with oil? Do you think the poor can afford that, while your at it the Chelsea set do buy ranges the vast majority run on oil or gas,there the ones who can afford the fuel and the range ,they could not store enough wood to run a range in Chelsea for more than a week.

      • The perils of farmers and their wives, has nothing to do with the evident fallacy that only poor people in the UK burn coal and wet wood!

        Wealthy people are more likely to have an open fire or aga than poor people since they are period features of more expensive houses.

        • Is there something you dont understand a farmer lives in a farmhouse with a range be it a aga or a Rayburn run on wood and coal he sends his wife out to work because the farm does not pay the Bill’s,

          Every house in the UK built before the 70s has a fire place hearth,chimney, chimneys are not exclusive to big houses, most people who buy a new range buy a oil range because they can afford 4000 notes and 2 000 notes on oil a year, these people are not poor and they dont burn wood.

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