HC Deb 14 February 1991 vol 185 c560W
Mr. Atkinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is his expectation of the rise in carbon dioxide emission levels by the year 2005 and the reasons for it; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Moynihan

Projections prepared by the Government in 1989 and published in 1990 in energy paper 58, a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House, suggested that Britain's emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from all sources might be in the range of 178 million to 225 million tonnes of carbon—Mtc—by 2005 if no action to control them were taken. These compared with emissions in 1989 of about 160 mtc. This range reflects the assumptions used in energy paper 58 for economic growth, energy prices, and so on.

The White Paper "This Common Inheritance" noted certain developments which had taken place since the publication of energy paper 58 which might affect emissions levels. These were a change in the projected level of new nuclear capacity, which would tend to increase emissions, and an expected increase in the use of gas for electricity generation purposes, which would tend to reduce them.

The Government have announced that Britain is prepared, if other countries take similar action, to set itself the demanding target of returning emissions of carbon dioxide to 1990 levels by 2005.

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