Original Article By Kurt Zindulka At Breitbart.com:
The UK government has told local authorities to crack down on people using wood-burning stoves to keep warm with fines of £300 or potentially criminal prosecutions for those who continually refuse to abide by state climate diktats.
Amid the energy crisis in Britain, which came to fruition in large part as a result of the Conservative Party-led governments over the past ten years obsession with implementing globalist green agenda policies while refusing to tap the nation’s more reliable natural resources such as natural gas, the use of wood-burning stoves have soared.
Now, local authorities have been told by the government in Westminster to use the 2021 Environment Act to impose spot fines of £175 to £300 on those who use wood-fire stoves that do not meet state standards on air pollution, The Times of London reported.
Local councils were also informed that for those who continually breach the codes, they could also seek criminal prosecutions that could land citizens with a criminal record and fines of £5,000 and an additional £2,500 for every additional day that they use wood to heat their homes.
Over the past six years, councils in England have issued just 17 fines against people for burning wood, even though they received over 18,000 complaints from fellow citizens.
Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey, who is spearheading the crackdown, claimed that she wants the government to take “an educational approach” on issues surrounding older stoves and the burning of wet wood, saying: “We want people to do the right thing.”
The move was hailed by ClientEarth, however, the green charity campaign group called for the government to go further and ban burning wood domestically outright.
“Pollution from wood-burning is a growing source of fine particulate matter pollution in some areas, which is a serious threat to people’s health,” spokeswoman Andrea Lea said.
The office of far-left London Mayor Sadiq Khan also praised the move, with a spokesman saying: “By taking a lead in the capital, the mayor has already reduced air pollution in London five times faster than in the rest of the country since 2016.”
However, Professor Frank Kelly of Imperial College London, questioned whether local councils have the resources necessary to dedicate towards policing homes using wood stoves.
“If you report that you’ve walked past a property and you can see smoke coming out of a chimney when there shouldn’t be, it’s very, very unlikely that an enforcement officer is going to turn up at that door and do anything. It’s down to the local council to enforce them and they haven’t got the manpower to do it,” he said.
There are also some doubts as to whether eliminating wood burning stoves would actually be effective in curbing air pollution as the government claims, with a report from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) finding that wood-burning stoves cause less than half of the emissions of PM2.5 particulates than previously claimed, revising the figure down from 38 per cent of all emissions down to just 17 per cent.
Over the past year, British households have faced a 65.4 per cent rise in electricity prices and a 128.9 per cent spike in the price of natural gas. While the war in Ukraine is often attributed as the chief cause for the increase, green agenda policies of the Conservative-led governments, which have controlled Downing Street since 2010, have seen billions poured into unreliable forms of energy such as wind and solar, while largely ignoring nuclear power, and outright banning the use of fracking to exploit the bountiful domestic supplies of natural gas in the country.