Kathleen Mar am 23.01.2019 - 15:11

In reply to by Alan Smith

https://www.iass-potsdam.de/en/people/kathleen-mar

On the topic of residential wood burning, I see the convergence of a couple of issues. One is that wood-burning has been promoted as climate neutral and therefore environmentally friendly. I am not prepared to delve deeply into that discussion here, but I think it is safe to say that one needs to be very careful about making any claims that wood burning is truly carbon neutral. In general, one needs to be very careful about how biofuels are used in climate plans - even more so when air quality and land use are being considered (and they should always be considered!).

Another thing that makes phasing out residential wood burning societally difficult is that it is traditional and comforting, and a practice which many northern European countries see as part of their culture. I agree that many do not realize woodsmoke is harmful to breathe, especially since it is considered "natural." There is definitely a need for a public discourse on this topic, given that by 2030, domestic heating is expected to account for nearly 70% of black carbon emissions in Europe (see this publication from the EEB: https://euagenda.eu/publications/clearing-the-air-a-critical-guide-to-the-new-national-emission-ceilings-directive).

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