Burning issue: ban on use of solid fuels would be triple win on health, air quality and climate change
The silo mentality is the bane of many national issues, particularly when it comes to environmental protection.
A lack of joined up thinking has been evident in our attempts to address climate change while ignoring negative impacts on air quality, most notably when both the Irish and UK governments incentivised the purchase of more fuel-efficient diesel vehicles to address climate change while simultaneously increasing air pollution, which has been linked to human cancers, heart and lung damage, and impaired mental functioning.
The same conflict between climate action and air quality is happening now in our homes with an increasing demand for the installation of solid fuel stoves. Compared to open fireplaces, solid fuel stoves improve energy efficiency, which is key to addressing climate change. However, from an air quality perspective, no good comes from burning solid fuels and spewing pollution into our neighbour's airspace or back into our own homes.