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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-04012

  • Asked by: Rachael Hamilton, MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Date lodged: 28 October 2021
  • Current status: Answered by Mairi McAllan on 11 November 2021


To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to decrease the moisture content limit for the sale of firewood to 20%, as set out in its consultation paper, Cleaner Air For Scotland 2, published in October 2020, and, if so, whether it will provide details of the reasons for choosing the 20% limit, in light of hardwood that is airdried for two years in the traditional way reportedly having a moisture content of between 17% and 23%, which may mean that half of all such hardwood is unfit for sale.


The Scottish Government published its new air quality strategy ‘Cleaner Air for Scotland 2 – Towards a Better Place for Everyone’ in July this year. The strategy sets out a wide variety of actions. One action is to work with businesses, and others that might be affected, on proposals to control the sale of the most polluting domestic fuels, which include wet wood. In order to take this forward we have set up a specialist domestic (household) emissions working group, with representation from industry and key stakeholders. These proposals are still at an early stage, further consideration will be required and additional information will be made available in due course.

In taking forward this work, we will be mindful of the potential impact on businesses and domestic users. Any new measures would require to be implemented over a period of time, such as a transitional period during which businesses could adapt to the new requirements without disproportionate costs.