New York Becomes the first US state to ban use of gas stoves and furnaces in new buildings. Although the fossil fuel industry might object, this is a significant victory for climate activists.
In response to mounting pressure from environmentalists and climate-conscious voters, Governor Kathy Hochul and Democratic lawmakers, who control the New York Senate and Assembly, enacted the new $229 billion state budget containing the measure late on Tuesday night, according to CNN.
Why is it significant to ban use of gas stoves and furnaces?
- Since gas stoves emit methane even when not in use, it has been discovered that they are a bigger factor in climate change than previously thought. They harm the environment
- Researchers discovered that when the burners were turned off, more than 3/4 of the methane emissions they observed took place in the environment.
- More than 40 million American homes use gas for cooking. Additionally, gas stoves can produce significant amounts of nitrogen oxides, which raises public concerns about indoor air quality and health effects.
- According to research, gas stoves release the equivalent of 500,000 automobiles’ worth of methane into the atmosphere each year, or 2.6 million tonnes
New York Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie stated in a statement that
“changing the ways we make and use energy to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels will help ensure a healthier environment for us and our children.”
Kathy Hochul, however, had some words of comfort for those who were concerned that the new regulation may affect their cherished existing kitchen power: existing buildings will not be touched by the new legislation.
What health risks do they pose?
The direct effects of gas stoves are a considerably greater threat to human health than they are to the planet’s climate. Nitrogen dioxide, or NO2, which can cause or exacerbate respiratory ailments in those who are exposed to it, is a common indoor source that is produced by gas burners.
For instance, research suggests that having a gas cooker in the house doubles adult lung disease risk and nearly triples the risk of asthma in children.
What are the Sustainable Alternatives?
- Heat pumps are energy efficient and provide the same amount of heat as gas furnaces and boilers. They extract heat from outdoor air and transfer it indoors, with efficiency of 300-400 percent. They work by using a refrigerant colder than the outdoor air, which absorbs heat and is compressed to raise its temperature. They are used in climates as cold as Maine, and can be used to cool a home in the summer.
- Induction Cooking is a very effective technique to prepare food since it uniformly distributes heat over a pan and can bring water to a boil twice as quickly as gas burners. It is extremely effective because it generates a magnetic field that transfers heat straight to the pan. An induction hob reduces the likelihood of burns and mishaps. You might need to purchase new cookware to utilise an induction cooktop. However, New York is already on its way to bring this change.
Does the Biden Administration intend to outlaw gas stoves in New York?
No. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has been attempting to lessen the risks associated with indoor air quality. In January, CPSC Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric remarked, “But to be clear, I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so.”
The brave step taken by New York to become the first state in the country to prohibit the use of fossil fuels in new construction is unquestionably significant. By building exclusively out of electricity, New York will pave the path for a green energy economy with greater employment, lower bills, and cleaner, healthier neighbourhoods.