21 Aug 2020, 14:29
Edgar Meza

German restaurant owners demand return of outdoor heaters amid pandemic


German restaurant and bar owners fear customers may avoid indoor dining due to the pandemic as warm weather turns to cold and call for a return of climate-damaging outdoor heaters, according to news broadcaster ntv. Patio heaters, which are often gas-powered, and are known in German as "mushroom heaters” due to their shape, are banned in many German cities. But the country’s gastro association wants to change this - at least for this winter. Tübingen is the first city to announce it will make an exception to allow the heaters, which the city had previously referred to as "energy guzzlers and carbon dioxide sources".

Tübingen Mayor Boris Palmer, a member of the Green Party, told the Südwest Presse: "As long as you could sit inside, patio heaters were simply filthy for the climate." With the coronavirus, however, sitting inside has become a problem. "That is why we will make an exception in allowing radiant heaters this winter." Radiant heaters were common in Germany, particularly after smoking was banned in pubs and restaurants in 2007. Criticism of the devices grew, however, and they were banned widely a decade ago. According to environmental protection group Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND), patio heaters emit up to 3.5 kilograms of CO2 per hour at maximum output.

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