The Role of Fuel Quality

6 January 2017

The Role of Fuel Quality

The role of fuel quality in reducing emissions has been recognised by Government. The following is an extract from a speech by Dr Thérèse Coffey MP on 15th December 2016 at Westminster.

Dr Coffey said:

“…..There are other matters to consider, such as reducing emissions of particulate matter, which is also an important priority for me. The largest source of those emissions now is domestic solid fuel, such as wood and coal burned in open fires and stoves, the use of which has increased significantly in recent years. I am considering a range of options to address this issue, and as a first step I plan to engage with stove manufacturers and retailers to understand the issues and identify where improvements could be made, through industry-led action on cleaner appliances and fuel. In particular, one of the messages that I would like to give out before the Christmas holidays is for people to think about the choice of wood that they use when they have open fires, and to use wood with the lowest moisture possible, to reduce the production of soot and dust…….

In a second extract Dr Thérèse Coffey MP continued:

…..My approach on this issue is not to play the blame game or pass the buck. As was pointed out, a previous Government incentivised diesel vehicles, to cut carbon. I could casually blame them, but I just do not see the point of doing so. I do not blame local councils for this matter, but alongside our national strategy we need to take local action. As I have said before, improving air quality is my top priority and a top priority for DEFRA. We are committed to improving air quality across all levels of Government, to deliver the improvements that are needed. As my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton and Honiton has pointed out, co-ordinated action is absolutely needed, and I can assure him that that work is under way.

In that work, we have the backing of our right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, who just last month said to the House: “We have taken action, but there is more to do and we will do it.” —[Official Report, 2 November 2016; Vol. 616, c. 887.]

Woodsure, HETAS and others have been working with Dr Thérèse Coffey MP department Defra, and with BEIS to help them understand that there must be a greater focus on wood fuel quality. There will be further meetings between Defra senior officials and representatives of industry over the coming weeks and months. We are pushing hard to ensure that the Woodsure scheme is seen as part of the on-going solution to promote good quality and appropriate fuel for the UK market.


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