EU and Member States

Political decision makers and authorities can reduce the impact of wood burning by establishing the right framework conditions. Apart from measures on local and regional level, Member States should focus on effective implementation of legislation and market surveillance. On EU level, ambitious standards for air quality have to be ensured and developped further.

  • Implementation of WHO recommendations for air quality and introduction of requirements for the maximum concentration of ultrafine particles. Restriction of residential burning in polluted areas.
  • Stricter emission limit values for stoves and boilers based on best available techniques: effective emission reduction technology needs to become standard! Introduction of a more realistic measurement procedure in the course of type approval that considers the number of particles as well.
  • Stricter requirements for old appliances (shutdown or retrofitting).
  • Ban of coal and lignite burning in stoves and boilers.
  • Taxation of usage of stoves in order to introduce economic incentives for a reasonable/low-emission use of wood.
  • Effective structures for market surveillance with random checks of appliances sold on the market.
  • Effective controls and sanctions to avoid illegal (waste) burning and misuse of fuel/appliances: High fines and increased use of ash testing.
  • 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 biomass appliances, provided that they show a comparable low level of particulate matter like other heat sources.
  • Better information for consumers: Mandatory proof of origin for firewood and pellets and establishment of ambitious eco-labels for stoves and boilers.

Recommendations for National Air Pollution Control Programs

Based on the National Emission Ceilings Dircective (NEC Directive), Member States have to develop measures to reduce fine particles and other air pollutants:
Recommendations and positive examples as download (PDF)

Energy poverty in the EU

Energy poverty is a huge problem in Eastern Europe. Old appliances and poor fuels lead to high particle emissions. Together with partners from Bulgaria and Slovenia, DUH elaborated criteria to gauge energy poverty and evaluate measures.  

Fact sheet (policy recommendations)

Website with further information