Mayor of London Report: Suggests Eco-design Stoves as Part of the Solution to London’s Particle Pollution Problems

Key Points:

  • King’s College modelling massively downgrades biomass burning (including domestic wood burning) contribution to PM2.5
  • Road transport is by far the largest source of PM2.5 in London
  • Eco-design standard mentioned in guidelines to tackle PM2.5

The Mayor of London report published last month entitled ‘Roadmap to meeting World Health Organization guidelines by 2030’ outlines policies and guidelines aimed at reducing PM2.5 to meet WHO guideline limits by 2030.

The report, based on modelling results by the Environmental Research Group (ERG) at King’s College, suggests the Eco-design standard within its guidelines as an example of how to substantially reduce PM2.5. Furthermore the report eludes to new statistics on wood burner emissions as it has reclassified biomass burning (as a whole) as ‘the second largest source of PM2.5 in London, accounting for 16 per cent of local PM2.5’ (the majority of which will likely be open fires and 10+ year old, wood burners). This 16 per cent figure is in a similar realm as ‘Non-Road Mobile Machinery’ (15%) and ‘cooking (including commercial cooking) which contributes 13 per cent of local emissions’. Finally, it seems common sense has prevailed with the realisation that if all open fires and old stoves in London (and the UK for that matter) were to be replaced with Eco-design stoves, then the particle pollution attributed to domestic wood burning would be massively reduced. This is important when considering how difficult it could be to severely reduce particle pollution in other key areas of contribution.

In the report it says, ‘Road transport is the largest individual source of PM2.5 in London, accounting for 30 per cent of local emissions’. The emphasis on non-exhaust emissions such as brake and tyre wear being an intelligent addition to the assessment of particulate matter in London, given that it was likely attributed to other sources in the past.

These new statistics are a far cry away from the previously reported 38% of particulate matter attributed to biomass burning and in fact, the 16% figure given for London could be even lower if modelled across the whole of the UK.

The report also points out the need to ‘Address wood burner emissions through a new fit-for-purpose testing regime’. The industry itself is confident that comprehensive, scientific studies will lead to further conclusions that it’s been extremely proactive in its approach to producing very low emission wood burner and multi-fuel stoves.

Daniel Gibbs, Managing Director of Ignite Stoves & Fires and Chair of the Stove Industry Alliance Retail Group said ‘It’s reassuring to see that further scientific studies are revealing the key contributors to particle pollution and the fact that these latest guidelines mention the eco-design standard in their plans for tackling particulate matter, will hopefully dispel the fear that’s been created around wood burners, following a year of inaccurate and very misleading information’.

This latest report should give anyone with an Eco-design stove some comforting reassurance that they are part of the solution, not the problem. The industry now looks forward to further evidence proving that Eco-design wood burner and multi-fuel stoves are a low emission, highly efficient heating solution.

For further information on Ecodesign stoves visit

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