§ Mr. Lord
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the Government intend to sign the protocol on the reduction of sulphur emissions, which is expected to be agreed at the meeting of the executive body for the convention on long-range transboundary air pollution in Helsinki on 8 to 12 July, and so join the 30 per cent. club.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
The Government fully share the general will in Europe to overcome the environmental problems associated with transboundary air pollution. We have announced our aim of achieving a further reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions of 30 per cent. from the 1980 levels by the end of the 1990s. This would represent a total reduction in United Kingdom emissions of 47 per cent. from the peak levels in 1970. The protocol takes no account of the substantial emission reductions achieved by the United Kingdom before 1980. The Government consider that it would be wrong to commit the United Kingdom to the levels of investment that would be required to guarantee a reduction in sulphur dioxide emission by 1993 of 30 per cent. on the 1980 levels and we shall not, therefore, be signing the protocol in Helsinki.