Sunny days, let’s have a BBQ.

19th Apr 2021

 

We’re in for a spell of warmer weather, Spring is definitely here and with outdoor Covid rules, dusting off the BBQ seems a great idea. There’s no doubt us Brits have embraced outdoor cooking (for our climate that’s some achievement). According to National BBQ Week, the UK held 137 million BBQs in 2019; there were an average of 10 family BBQs a year and the at-home alfresco eating and entertaining market is worth £7.8 billion (2019) compared to £150 million in 1997. But what of the future for BBQs?

image by <a href="http://www.freeimageslive.co.uk/free_stock_image/bbq-1-jpg" target="_blank"> freeimageslive.co.uk - DawnyH</a>

I’m not expert cook, but charcoal v gas seems to be the choice for consumers. Add a patio gas heater or fire pit, and you have a red flag for carbon emissions (and air quality by the way). Now in terms of global carbon emissions, even this level of outdoor dining activity is relatively small fry (sorry couldn’t resist), but as a point of principle, it is important. When did you last hear the CCC or BEIS suggest banning the British BBQ? Can you imagine the grilling they would get from outraged politicians and the public?

But to be entirely logical and consistent in their approach, they are going to have to.

They have no problem with suggesting gas boilers are banned from new-build homes, but that home-owner is perfectly free to have a gas BBQ and patio heater. How is that logical? These inconsistencies are the downfall of policy.

It could be argued that consumers could have a charcoal BBQ and wood-burning fire pit (from sustainable sources to reduce the carbon) but what about air quality and who polices the sources?  

If I were in BEIS, I would counter this by suggesting it is the quantum emissions per year from outdoor eating that should be assessed so that actual products aren’t banned from use, but emission levels measured and targets set.

To this I would say, apply the same logic to gas boiler connections for new homes. It isn’t the appliance that is the problem, but the level of emissions. Challenge house builders to achieve Net Zero, but don’t ban them from using a gas boiler or cooker in doing so.

To ban someone from cooking a banger on a gas hob but not on a gas BBQ in new homes will make a mockery of carbon reduction policy, and we can’t afford to see that go up in smoke.

Best wishes 

Mike Foster CEO

Mike Foster

EUA's Chief Executive

 

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