Oxford’s city council recently unveiled its plan to prohibit the use of gas stoves in new constructions by 2025. This initiative reflects the city’s commitment to developing fossil fuel-free developments and combating climate change.

The council is now seeking the input of local residents. This feedback will be considered in the final version of the plan, which will then be submitted to the UK’s government’s Planning Inspectorate.

Following a public inspection, the plan could be officially adopted by the summer of 2025.

Although the gas stove ban is only a proposal at this stage, it’s widely expected to pass. Oxford Council is controlled by the Labour Party, which strongly supports the push towards net zero CO2 emissions.

Last year, Oxford introduced controversial Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) as part of a push to reduce vehicle traffic and cut CO2 emissions. Barriers at the entrance to the LTNs block vehicle movement.

The case for gas stove bans

Gas stoves currently emit about 6.6 million tonnes of CO2 per year, roughly 2% of total UK carbon emissions. In addition, gas hobs release methane even when stoves are turned off. Methane is a greenhouse gas with a global warming potential roughly 28 times higher than CO2, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Gas stoves have also been found to exceed air pollution limits within homes and pose health risks, particularly for children.

Euronews reports that more than 700,000 cases of child asthma in the European Union in the past year were attributed to gas cooking at home. This accounted for approximately 7% of all asthma cases in children across the EU.

Gas stove use around the world

Currently, around 100 million individuals in the EU use gas cookers. More than half of households in Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, and Hungary relying on such appliances.

Several other countries have taken steps to reduce the use of gas stoves. The Netherlands has prohibited the connection of newly constructed houses and apartments to the gas network since 2018. Denmark implemented a similar ban a decade ago.

In May, New York became the first state in the United States to ban gas stoves. Restrictions on fossil fuel equipment installation are set to go into effect in 2026 for buildings under nine stories and 2029 for larger buildings. However, trade groups in the gas and construction sectors filed a lawsuit in October, arguing that the state’s ban is unenforceable under federal law.

Gas stove bans have also been introduced in large North American cities like Montreal, Seattle, and Los Angeles.