HC Deb 24 January 1990 vol 165 cc748-9W
51. Mr. Dunn

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what international commitments on environmental protection Her Majesty's Government have entered into since 1987.

Mr. Trippier

Since 1987 the United Kingdom and the other member states have adopted European Community measures on the following:


  1. Motorcycle noise
  2. Construction plant noise
  3. Testing new chemicals
  4. Dangerous preparations
  5. Vehicle emissions
  6. Diesel emissions
  7. Pesticide residues
  8. Dangerous substances in water
  9. Large combustion plants
  10. New municipal waste incinerators
  11. Existing municipal waste incinerators
  12. Air Quality—smoke and SO2
  13. Titanium dioxide


  1. Monitoring of forest damage
  2. Forestry action programme
  3. Trade in endangered species (enforcing CITES)
  4. Ivory imports
  5. Set-aside
  6. CFCs, halons and ozone layer

The United Kingdom has also signed the Sofia protocol to the 1979 convention on long-range transboundary air pollution and the Basel convention on transfrontier movements of hazardous wastes.

52. Mr. Alton

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much was spent per head of population in 1988–89 on the control of pollution and improvement of the environment in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Trippier

Statistics are not available in a form that would allow an exact reply to this question. Broad estimates suggest that the UK spends for the purpose of pollution control and environmental improvement a proportion of its GDP comparable to that in other industrial countries.

59. Mr. Maples

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals on environmental protection his Department is currently urging the European Community to adopt.

Mr. Trippier

The United Kingdom plays a leading and constructive role in shaping European Community policy for protecting the environment. We are currently urging agreement on a wide range of proposals, including the following: A regulation establishing a European Environment Agency to underpin environmental policy with comparable and authoritative information on a Europe-wide basis; A directive to protect the habitats of wild fauna and flora which will enable all member states to implement the Berne Convention and which will have added value over and above what can be achieved nationally; A directive to consolidate existing directives on exhaust emissions from passenger cars and which will include evaporative emissions; A directive to tighten controls over emissions from large diesel vehicle engines, which are responsible for about half the emissions of NOx from road transport and which are the principal source of smoke in cities; A resolution that advanced industrialised countries should aim to become self-sufficient in disposing of their wastes so that we may put an end to virtually all transfrontier shipments of wastes; A proposal establishing a community-wide scheme of labelling to provide consumers with impartial advice on the environmental characteristics of products and to reinforce incentives for manufacturers to produce goods which are environmentally more benign; A directive designed to improve public access to environmental information which will be consistent with the register-based approach used successfully in this country for a number of years The production of an agreed list of substances which are particularly dangerous for the aquatic environment and which require priority action to minimise imputs from all sources; A directive establishing a mechanism for up-dating certain existing directives on water quality in the light of technical progress and practical experience.

In addition, we have already persuaded the Community to adopt our ideas for reducing and eliminating chlorofluorocarbons as its position in the current revision of the Montreal protocol. These proposals are the most stringent of any put forward in the negotiations.