HL Deb 18 October 1993 vol 549 c40WA
Lord Reay

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they consider that there are any essential uses of halon for which the UK will seek continued production in 1995.

Baroness Denton of Wakefield

We are today issuing a consultation paper seeking nominations for potential candidates for "essential uses" which might need production of halons in 1995 under the Montreal Protocol on substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and EC Regulation 3952/92.

All applications for halon production in 1995 have to meet the stringent criteria agreed by the Parties to the Protocol. Uses must be necessary for the health and safety of society or critical for its functioning. There must be no technically and economically feasible alternatives available which are acceptable on health and environmental grounds. And finally, a particularly important point for halons, there must be insufficient recycled material available for the use. All three criteria must be met.

The availability of recylced material through the Halon Users' National Consortium made it possible for the UK to withdraw the nominations we had made to UNEP for halon production in 1994. However, in withdrawing those nominations the UK stressed that further production might be needed in subsequent years.

I understand that nominations for 1995 have to be with the Protocol Secretariat by 31st December 1993. The closing date for our consultation exercise is therefore 30th November 1993. All applications will be considered, but we are committed to keeping essential uses to a minimum. A list will be published of those candidate uses, if any, that we nominate to UNEP for 1995.