§ Q97. Mr. David Nicholson
To ask the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on recent initiatives by the Government to protect the environment.
§ The Prime Minister
The Government have taken a wide range of initiatives to protect the environment. Nationally this includes the creation of the National Rivers Authority to control water pollution and approval of a major programme of investment by the water industry over the next 10 years. We have recently submitted to the EC a programme for full compliance with the EC bathing waters directive in the 1990s costing £1.1 billion. We have now one of the largest programmes in Europe to control airborne pollution by sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.
Internationally this Government have taken a lead in securing commitments to cut down ozone damaging chemicals, and in proposing in the United Nations a conference on global climate change.
We shall build on these achievements in the years to come. At the centre of our efforts will be environmental protection legislation, and a White Paper on the environment to guide policy in the last decade of the century.