Released particulate matter in fireplaces and wood-burning stoves was held responsible for 10% of the total emissions of particulate matter. However, new calculations by RIVM (National Institute for Health and Environment) that also include particulate matter emissions just outside the chimney, paint a shockingly different picture.
23% of particulate matter emissions in the Netherlands are caused by burning wood. As a result, wood burning in the Netherlands has a larger share of the total emissions of particulate matter than road traffic.
While our government is rapidly trying to get us to drive electric cars with all kinds of subsidies, there was even a subsidy scheme for pallet heaters until recently .
As far as one of the biggest causes of particulate matter is concerned, our government's policy is 'providing information'. Once a serious policy is in place to tackle one of the major causes of our particulate matter problem, things may go quickly and the burning of wood in wood-burning stoves and fireplaces will be halted.
According to the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, the cheapest way to tackle air pollution is to reduce diesel cars without a particulate filter and replace outdated wood-burning stoves and fireplaces.
There are plenty of alternatives to wood-burning stoves and fireplaces. An electric fireplace is very easy to use, provides atmosphere and often also has a heating function. For lovers of 'real' flames, a bio ethanol fireplace is a clean solution.
Of course we can wait for government policy and possibly a subsidy on bioethanol fireplaces or electric fireplaces. Why don't we switch voluntarily? Our environment concerns all of us!