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: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/21/house-coal-and-wet-wood-to-be-phased-out-by-2023-to-cut-pollution
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.