Politics

Here you find our policy recommendations for political decision makers and authorities on local, national and European scale.

Cities and municipalities can reduce the impact of wood burning by local measures and thus improve urban air quality substantially:

  • Quicker replacement or shutdown of old appliances: For instance, in Munich, old appliances already have to be replaced until 2019; the city of Aachen has determined stricter limit values for old appliances. 
  • In highly polluted areas: Ban on installation and on use of solid biomass appliances (with possible exemptions for stoves and boilers with eco-label or comparable low particle emissions like other heat sources).

  • Local funding programs for the exchange of old stoves (with ambitious emission and efficiency standards for new appliances).

Local information campaigns to make consumers aware of the problem and to ensure proper use of stoves (e.g. seminars for stove owners like the city of Reutlingen is offering).

On national level in Germany, the following measures are required:

  • Ambitious eco-labels for stoves and boilers to distinguish front runners in the market.
  • Requirements and economic incentives for energy renovation and insulation of existing buildings have to be extended. The same holds true for funding programmes for solar heat, geothermal energy and pellet appliances, provided that they show a comparable low level of particulate matter like other heat sources.
  • The German market incentive programme to promote the use of renewable energies in the heating market (MAP) should only support wood burning appliances with integrated particle separator.
  • More resources and effective structures for market surveillance have to be established: At least 50 stoves and boilers have to be checked every year by public authorities if they conform to the type approval values.

Significant reduction of the measurement uncertainty granted at the recurring measurements of boilers at site.

At European level or in other Member States, the following action is needed:

  • Member States with emission limit values below the Ecodesign requirements should introduce more ambitious legislation to pave the way for the stricter standards (including ambitious regulation for the replacement/shutdown of old appliances).
  • Harmonized and more realistic measurement procedure in the course of type approval of stoves and boilers within the EU, reflecting better the actual emission performance.
  • Introduction of a robust measurement procedure for particle number and determination of adequate limit values (analogous to the development of emission standards in the traffic sector).
  • Stricter standards for air quality: Both the European Union and the Member States should consider the WHO recommendations as standard for air quality. In addition, requirements for the maximum concentration of ultrafine particles should be introduced.
  • Better information for consumers: Mandatory proof of origin for firewood and pellets and establishment of a European eco-label for stoves and boilers.

Structural solution for the problematic double role of chimney sweepers: Clear separation of control activities and role as service provider or seller of stoves.