HC Deb 14 December 1992 vol 216 cc56-7W
Mr. Hendry

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he intends to publish the discussion document on Britain's carbon dioxide programme promised in "This Common Inheritance: The Second Year" report.

Mr. Cran

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he intends to publish a discussion paper on the strategy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Howard

I am publishing today a discussion document: "Climate Change—Our National Programme for CO2, Emissions". Copies have been placed in the Library.

This is the first step in implementing in the United Kingdom the climate change convention agreed at UNCED in June this year.

The convention has been signed by over 150 nations. As part of the process of ensuring that the convention is translated into effective action we in Britain must now begin drawing up our own programmes of measures to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide is the first priority.

I do not believe it would be right for the Government alone to determine the content of our programme. The programme needs contributions from all sectors of the economy. The discussion document describes: the main principles of the Climate Change Convention, the sources of CO2 emissions in the United Kingdom and the prospects for emissions in the year 2000, the opportunities for individuals, business, and public sector bodies to reduce CO2 emissions, options for Government measures to supplement and support voluntary action.

Through the discussion document I am inviting business to commmit itself to taking action as part of our national programme, and I am seeking views on the scope for individuals to take further action and on the options for Government measures. I look forward to a full debate on these issues over the next three months.