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Britain is only second behind Denmark in the global rankings for clean power use. Our phasing out of coal-fired power is helping us keep this impressive position. Although the UK was the birthplace of the industrial revolution circa 1760, vast changes have ensured we are now one of the most progressive countries in the world in the fight against climate change.
On a global basis, there is still much more to do. Around 40% of electricity is still generated from coal, and Asian countries are increasing their reliance on fossil fuels. In contrast to this, we have phased out coal-fired power more quickly than any other country in the world.
UK’s emissions have been reduced by over 40% from 1990 levels, as the economy has grown by over 60%.
More needs to be done to ensure global warming does not go above 2C. At this level there will be a significant increase in extreme heat, droughts and floods. We have around 12 years to make positive changes to the world to ensure we increase global temperatures by no more than 1.5C.
The Paris Agreement’s main aim is to increase the global response to the growing issue of climate change. This will be achieved by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to make a real effort to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees celsius.
An incredible 75% of emissions reductions since 2012 have come from the power sector. Apart from the phasing out of coal-fire power in the UK, there are a number of other things happening in the country, which is helping tackle climate change:
1. Further development of EV (Electric vehicles)
2. Tighter controls on vehicle emissions
3. Congestion charges
4. Development of Bioenergy (10% of UK energy to be met by bioenergy by 2050)
5. Offshore wind is on track to provide over 10% of UK generation by 2020 with the UK having the largest installed capacity in a growing global market.
Despite the recent news surrounding the dangers of burning wood, the government have made a clear acknowledgement that SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves are making a positive contribution to cleaner air:
Neil Parish MP, Chair to the Select Committee Environment Food & Rural Affairs, said:
“What the SIA is doing fits in with the world we have; we have problems in our inner cities with very high levels of NOx and particulates. Anything we can do to reduce that from open fires and others, through SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves has got to be an absolute benefit”
Ecodesign Ready stoves are of such benefit to a cleaner environment as they burn wood in a much more efficient, cleaner way. An open fire has an efficiency of around 20%, which means 80% of the heat made goes up the chimney. In comparison an SIA Ecodesign Ready stove is around 80% efficient, and so only 20% of heat is wasted. This means less wood is burnt and the wood that is burnt is done so in a much more efficient way.
Burning wood is a sustainable heating source, if cut from properly managed woodlands. Furthermore, the CO2 produced from wood, correctly burnt on an SIA Ecodesign stove will be less than if the wood was left to rot on a forrest floor.