Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East, has submitted an official response to the government's consultation on 'cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and wood', which closes on Friday [12 October].
In his submission, the air quality campaigner attacks the 'disingenuous' claims made by the government and questions the framing of the consultation, which shifts focus away from 'the biggest driver of the UK's air quality crisis': road vehicles.
Mr Taylor, a member of the European Parliament's Environment and Transport Committees, also called on the government to focus its attention on the management of 'smoke control' zones, with adequate funds being made available local authorities for enforcement.
Mr Taylor said:
"The Government’s consultation on cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and wood is missing some important details in the context it sets out in the consultation overview. The statement that talks about the reduction in air pollution emissions from transport and industrial sources downplays both sides of the issue. Transport air pollutants have decreased, but almost 90% of Britain’s urban areas have been experiencing illegal levels of NO2 pollution since 2010. And it has always been important to address all sources of emissions, due to the health impacts they have, so the fact that only now is the Government looking into domestic burning, whilst positive, is much too late."
The Green MEP also noted the paucity of evidence in the consultation documents, adding:
"The claims also made in the consultation overview, that the increase in emissions from the domestic sector are coming from open fires and wood-burning stoves is completely devoid of proof. Such statements are the basis for action in this area, it is important that such steps are not made on beliefs, but with evidence to demonstrate the cause of the problems."
"I urge the Government to ensure that the steps taken after this consultation are ambitious and not just box-ticking exercises. We have some pressing problems and time is short. Now is the time for disruptive change, not more of the same."