Patio heaters could be banned by the European Union over fears that they are contributing to global warming.
Euro-MPs will today vote on energy efficiency proposals to phase out the sale of the popular gas-burning appliances which are increasingly found outside bars, cafés and restaurants since the indoor smoking ban.
Fiona Hall, a Liberal Democrat MEP, has led the calls for the ban, which is expected to be endorsed by the parliament in Brussels.
"Patio heaters are scandalous because they are burning fossil fuels in the open sky, so producing vast quantities of CO2 with very little heat benefit," she said.
Whether there is a benefit or not isn’t actually for Ms. Hall to determine. That’s for the consumer to work out. As long as the damage done by CO2 emissions, the externality, has been included in the prices paid via taxation, it’s entirely up to the individual as to whether they use such a heater or not.
I’ve no idea what the tax on natural gas is but I’d be amazed if it’s less than the $80 per tonne CO2 that would cover that externality.
Can we leave yet?