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Oxford City Council plans to eliminate gas stoves in new developments by 2025, aiming for fossil fuel-free buildings.

In a bold move towards environmental sustainability, Oxford City Council has announced an ambitious plan to ban gas stoves in all new buildings by 2025. This initiative is a key part of the city's strategy to ensure that new developments operate without reliance on fossil fuels.

The decision is anchored in Oxford's new local plan, a comprehensive strategy focused on addressing the climate emergency. "The Local Plan is a major step forward in how we will tackle the existential threat of climate change," said Councillor Louise Upton. The plan mandates that all new homes and businesses in Oxford not only operate without using fossil fuels but also generate sufficient electricity to meet their needs and contribute to greening the environment through tree planting.

Following the adoption of this draft plan, Oxford's council is engaging with its residents, numbering around 162,000, to refine the strategy. This feedback will shape the final draft, which is slated for submission to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate. A public inspection will follow, with the potential for full adoption by the summer of 2025.

The move to ban gas stoves is not just environmentally motivated. Research, including a significant report released earlier this year, highlights the health risks associated with gas stoves. These risks include exacerbating air pollution within homes and increasing the likelihood of children developing health issues like asthma. The report found that over 700,000 child asthma cases in the EU last year were linked to cooking with gas.

Oxford's decision echoes a growing trend in Europe to move away from gas stoves. Around 100 million people in the EU use gas cookers, with high usage rates in countries like Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, and Hungary. The Netherlands and Denmark have already implemented bans on connecting new houses and apartments to the gas network.

The debate over gas stoves has also become politically charged in the United States. Rumors of a potential ban earlier this year prompted a fierce response from Republican Congressman Ronny Jackson, who vowed never to give up his gas stove. New York has recently taken a definitive step, becoming the first US state to ban gas stoves in new buildings, with phased implementation starting in 2026.

However, this decision has met resistance, particularly from gas and construction trade groups, who in October filed a lawsuit challenging the enforceability of the state's ban under federal law.

Oxford's pioneering move marks a significant milestone in the global shift towards environmentally conscious urban planning and raises important questions about the future of domestic energy use in the context of climate change and public health.

Samira is an Electronics and Communications Engineer by profession, but deep inside, her heart is a nomad! She's a state champion debater, a public speaker, a scriptwriter, a theater actress, but most importantly — A GREEN CITIZEN! She thinks of herself as a storyteller who thrives on enjoying the life at fullest and telling everyone the tales of life.

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