§ Mr. Maclean
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made in regard to the convention for the protection of the ozone layer negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
My Department led the United Kingdom delegation at the diplomatic conference in Vienna which completed work on the text of the convention on 22 March. The United Kingdom expects to sign the convention shortly. The European Community and all other member states are expected to become parties, along with at least 20 other countries.
The convention—which will be formally known as the Vienna convention for the protection of the ozone layer —is the first global convention to be concluded under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme. It established a framework for a range of possible measures to protect the ozone layer along lines that are fully compatible with the Community's environment policy of concentrating on the prevention rather than the cure of damage.
Agreement was also reached in Vienna to continue work on an associated Protocol to control the use of chlorofluorocarbons, the family of chemicals principally implicated in potential depletion of the ozone layer.