A green trend is marking all nations, regardless of their stage of development, struggling to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, while improving air quality and safeguarding people from major health risks.
While some countries invest in the renewable sector, New Zealand could witness beneficial changes by adopting a less common measure: an open fire ban tackling increased levels of pollution in Auckland, a serious problem that comes along with an exorbitant price tag of $700 million (€543m
The strategy, expected to prohibit the exploitation of open fires used for domestic heating starting 2014, was proposed by the Auckland Council's environment and sustainability forum.
Such a measure would determine people to pour a lot of money into a new generation of fireplaces, much more efficient and with a lower carbon footprint, better for their health and the environment at the same time.
Strict emission standards and other initiatives aiming to reduce air pollution are currently being taken into consideration by Auckland authorities, to help the city move one step closer to the national goal of cutting down the appalling level of emissions by 58%, over the next four years.
The main goal is to green up the entire country, while limiting the concentration of hazardous small particles reaching the atmosphere, correlated with a high incidence of lung diseases and respiratory problems.
All in all, authorities hope to see the ban widely implemented for good results obtained in a relatively short period of time.
“It still needs to be ratified, but I really hope it goes through. We don't think we've got a lot of choice. We need to be moving on this. There are other cities in New Zealand that have already applied the point-of-sale with some good effect and I thought it was quite a reasonable option,” notes Forum chairman Wayne Walker.
According to Nzherald
, there are 26,000 open fires in Auckland. If the new regulation were approved, homeowners would be forced to invest in greener fireplaces, a positive change taking into consideration both its health and environmental benefits.